We have 27% fewer traffic cops on our roads compared to six years ago
Yes, according to the Home Office, we’ve seen a drastic reduction in the number of officers policing our roads. This surely isn’t a good thing, especially considering the new smoking ban and the fact that mobile phone use is such a big issue for drivers today. You would think there would be more need for traffic officers compared to the past, so the fact that there is a lot less compared to 2010 is worrying to say the least.
The data shows that there were 3,901 officers on the roads last year, outside London. This doesn’t sound too bad, until you consider that’s 1,437 fewer than what we had in 2010.
RAC’s Pete Williams had this to say: “Overall, these figures make for grim reading and are likely to be met with dismay by law-abiding motorists.
“While some of the numbers may be explained by organisational changes, such as officers taking on multiple roles and police forces working in partnership to tackle crime, the data still clearly shows that a majority of forces have seen a further fall in the number of officers whose primary responsibility is tackling crime on our roads.”
I have to agree, because it’s the law-abiding drivers who want to see more enforcement and tougher penalties for offenders. Figures like this only create a sense that we’re going backwards, instead of really making our roads safer. We simply can’t achieve this goal with fewer officers policing our roads.
Williams went on to say: “These findings also beg the question whether forces are increasingly turning to technology to enforce the law. Fixed speed cameras are a common sight on many roads, including on the hundreds of miles of highway being upgraded to smart motorways.”
At the end of the day, the law still requires the physical presence of an officer to enforce it, regardless of the fact that technological advancements also help to keep our roads safe.