Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Ninth Report

The police

141. In 1998, Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabularies (HMIC) Report on Road Policing and Traffic stated:

"It was disappointing that many forces have not seen road policing as a priority".

The Association of Chief Police Officers' memorandum agreed that HMIC's concern over the lack of priority in the late 90s had been justified but it was no longer:

"Road policing in general and casualty reduction in particular is now seen by the service as core policing. The consistency issue has been addressed and exciting nationally coordinated major projects are now in hand ...The main project is the National Camera Safety Scheme".[226]

ACPO added that a new set of speed enforcement guidelines had been published in 2000. They included a nationally agreed minimum trigger level for enforcement action. The organisation reviewed the National Road Policing Strategy[227] (first established 1996).

142. Although The Association of Chief Police Officers has shown a very impressive commitment to tackling speeding and submitted a forceful and detailed memorandum, it is by no means clear that all police authorities have followed its lead. As we have seen, some authorities have significantly reduced the numbers of road traffic police. Not all police authorities have casualty reduction targets in policing plans.[228] The Metropolitan Police was singled out for criticism by several witnesses even before its decision to remove half its traffic police from their duties. Sustrans drew attention to:

"the ongoing lack of interest by the Metropolitan Police. There may be a disturbing link here with the continuous poor road safety record in London, notably for pedestrians".[229]

143. The evidence which we received indicated that it would be impossible to get every police authority to pay sufficient attention to traffic policing unless the Home Office indicated that it was it was a particular priority. We discuss how this should be done below.

144. The Association of Chief Police Officers has shown an impressive commitment to tackling road traffic speed. Unfortunately, not all police authorities have given it the same priority. The Home Office must make it very clear to all of them that road traffic policing is a priority. The Metropolitan Police was singled out for criticism for its disregard of this important aspect of policing. We recommend that the Greater London Authority review the Metropolitan Police's approach to traffic policing as a priority.

226   RTS 137. Back

227   ACPO has had a National Road Policing Strategy since 1996. Its strategic aim is to contribute to the reduction of death and injury, damage and fear on our roads. Speeding is highlighted as one of the three operational priorities. Back

228   RTS 15. p. 48. Back

229   RTS 18. Back

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