As a result, there’s concern that those breaking the law will ‘get away with it’
According to a recent investigation, the number of traffic police in the UK has dropped by a third in 10 years.
As a result, there’s deep concern that those breaking the law on our roads will likely get away with the crime they have committed.
During the past five years, the number of dedicated police traffic officers has fallen by 24%, whilst the overall number has dropped 30% in just 10 years.
Back in 2007, a total of 3,766 police traffic officers responded to a Freedom of Information request, by 2012, this has dropped to 3,472 and this year, this had dropped to 2,643.
Over the past 10 years, the number of Greater Manchester police traffic officers has fallen by 69% from 241 to 75.
In Nottingham, the numbers dropped by 56% from 138 to 61, whilst in the West Midlands they fell by 52% (384 to 186).
The RAC is concerned that whilst the number of traffic police continues to drop, those breaking road laws such as driving whilst using a mobile phone, are going to get away with it.
As of March 1 this year, motorists caught using their mobile phone whilst driving face being hit with a £200 fine and six points on their licence.
“Those who persist in breaking the law need to know there is a real threat of getting caught,” said the RAC.
According to the AA, a decline in numbers could lead to more drivers getting away with a crime. “We need more cops in cars, not fewer,” said an AA spokesman.
Thirty police forces across the UK responded to the Freedom of Information request by the Press Association. A total of 15 failed to respond to the request.
A speaker on roads policing for the Police Federation of England and Wales, Jayne Willetts, believes cuts to police officers could put extra pressure on them as a whole.
“They are having to attend calls for help from the public in addition to patrolling the road network to target travelling criminality,” she said, adding that the introduction of new technology is welcomed but seeing police on the roads plays a vital role and acts as a strong visual deterrent, providing reassurance to members of the public.
A spokesman for the Home Office however said: “Effective roads policing is not necessarily dependent on dedicated road traffic officers: the use of technology, other police personnel and local communities also have a role to play.”
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