- Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl has welcomed a report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) calling for better roads policing
- HMICFRS says the importance of how roads in England and Wales are policed has become diminished with many police and crime plans making little or no reference to roads policing
- The Gloucestershire PCC has included ‘Safe and Social Driving’ as a priority in all of his Police and Crime Plans since 2012
- He is also planning a new range of measures and commitments that will include placing a greater emphasis on local traffic ‘hotspots’ in his next Police and Crime Plan later in the year.
Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl has backed an official report outlining the need for better policing of the UK’s roads.
The report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said roads policing in England and Wales has become less important.
And, despite the high number of people killed on the country’s roads each year, it criticised PCCs who made little or no reference to roads policing in their force police and crime plans.
One exception is Gloucestershire PCC Martin Mr. Surl who has made ‘Safe and Social Driving’ an integral part of his Police and Crime Plan since 2012.
He said, “I can understand why cuts in spending may have influenced others but road safety has always been a priority for me. I think I was the first PCC to make it so and may have been the only one for quite a long time because I believe that people should be able to move around our communities in safety and with as much ease and convenience as possible.
“Taking back control of local roads policing was a major consideration in allowing the Tri-Force agreement with neighbouring Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset Police to end because it’s enabled us to focus on local concerns.
“The award winning Operation Indemnis which centred on the A417/419, was a big success. It’s resulted in fewer fatal or life changing collisions; it lead to hundreds of motorists being stopped for speeding, using mobile phones while driving, tailgating and other motoring offences and many more received help from the police when they broke down – so it wasn’t just about enforcement.
“Education programmes run by my office in partnership with the Fire and Rescue Service are also helping to prepare new and novice drivers and my next Police and Crime Plan will include measures to help those with more experience who might be anxious about returning to the roads after lockdown.
“I’m pleased to say that all of this is in accordance with what the HMICFRS is recommending for other parts of the country”.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said, “Our inspection suggests that roads policing, despite the number of road deaths plateauing and likely to increase, is seen as less of a priority than it should be.
“Spending on roads policing has been cut by 34% resulting in fewer officers dealing with offences that cause road deaths. However, there is a clear, and pressing, need for government, police and crime commissioners, chief officers, and the College of Policing to recognise the importance of roads policing in reducing death on the roads”.
The HMICFRS report is available at https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/
‘Safe and Social Driving’ themes – at a glance
- People should be able to move around our communities in safety and with as much ease and convenience as possible
- The police will enforce the law when necessary, but we will all work to reduce offending and antisocial driving
- The Constabulary will listen to communities and provide a proportionate response to local road safety concerns
- The Constabulary will explore options around joint working with Highways England and its traffic enforcement team
- To promote benefits in respecting other road users and reducing pollution
- Develop localised interventions with partners alongside national campaigns
- Develop interventions with most at risk groups on the roads
- Improves our health by helping and encouraging people to walk and cycle in a safe and attractive environment
- To make it a pleasant experience to travel around the county and explore the beauty and tranquillity of Gloucestershire.