17 January 2022
PFEW Roads Policing Lead and National Board member Gemma Fox has responded to a BBC Panorama programme which analysed whether ‘weaker policing could be to blame’ for increased risk on the roads.
Roads Policing Lead Gemma said: “Roads policing officers are dedicated public servants who do a fantastic job in the most trying of circumstances. This accusation that so-called ‘weaker’ policing is responsible for roads being perceived as riskier is an insult to the professionalism of my colleagues.
"The reality is the number of specialist officers has rapidly declined in recent years alongside a marked reduction in resources.
"HMICFRS’s 2020 inspection of roads policing in England and Wales detailed there was a 34 per cent real terms reduction in expenditure worth approximately £120m between 2013 and 2019. It would therefore be wholly irresponsible to lay any blame on the shoulders of colleagues.
"Every single roads policing officer I know personally wants to complete more pro-active activities. While reacting to accidents and enforcement are essential aspects of the job, this lack of resources has meant the public information side of the role has not been prioritised and this has been really damaging.
"Admittedly, many forces have made major improvements in staffing and resources since the 2020 report findings. Although this will have a positive impact on the future of roads policing, we also must see further investment as there is so much more which can be done to improve safety for colleagues and members of the public.”