The map shows that over a third of forces in England and Wales support at least one of the campaign’s recommendations for improved roads policing. The recommendations, contained in a report published for the Road Justice campaign in July, focus on three areas of roads policing that need to be addressed and improved, they are: road collision investigations; resources and training; and victim support.
Since the report was received by every single English and Welsh police force, the Road Justice campaign coordinator, Rhia Weston, has spoken with many inspectors and collision investigators, some of whom have invited CTC to work with them on enhancing the police’s ability to promote cycle safety and safe driving.
Ms Weston said ‘For the most part, the police have been keen and willing to discuss the report, in order to explain the constraints they are under, mostly as a result of resource cuts, and to discuss the changes they’d like to see made to roads policing.’
Several forces said they would welcome additional funding for roads policing and bemoaned the lack of national targets for road crime reduction as the reason why roads policing gets side-lined in budgets. Some forces also agreed that better training is required for non-specialist police officers who handle minor collisions. Almost all forces agreed that officers should guard against the propensity to blame road crash victims and several agreed that more could be done to care better for crash victims.
Devon and Cornwall police, who CTC singled out in the past for completely slashing their roads policing unit in 2011, have announced that they will review their roads policing training and will create a safer roads support unit with 150 staff.
The map uses a traffic light system to show how forces have responded to the Road Justice report. Green means a force agrees with many of the recommendations; amber means a force agrees with at least one of the recommendations; and red means either the force has not yet responded or disagrees with all the recommendations.
Clicking on a force area on the map brings up a window containing a force’s more detailed response as well as local roads policing statistics, such as roads police officers as a percentage of the whole police force and how many road casualties on average there are per year for each roads police officer.
Over 10,000 people have signed the Road Justice petition calling for improvements to roads policing in order to make cycling safer. The campaign is seeking a meeting with the Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, Damian Green, to deliver the petition. To sign the petition, go to www.roadjustice.org.uk/police-petition
Notes to editors:
The Road Justice campaign’s aim is to make the roads safer by making the justice system take a tougher approach to bad driving. The campaign report ‘Road Justice: the role of the police’ can be downloaded from roadjustice.org.uk
Police forces are being asked to pledge to implement the following recommendations:
Collision investigation procedures
1. The police should use the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Road Death Investigation Manual in cases of serious injury, not just for fatalities. The manual should be renamed The Road Crash Investigation Manual.
2. The police should attend all road crash scenes involving injury and death and collect as much evidence as possible.
3. The police should investigate reports of seriously bad or aggressive driving even when no injury occurs.
4. The police should facilitate collision and ‘near miss’ public reporting systems and follow up reports made via these systems.
5. Potential ancillary offences should be investigated, such as using a mobile phone whilst driving or having defective eyesight.
Resources and Training
8. Roads police need to be adequately resourced to respond appropriately to road collisions and to investigate them thoroughly; and to enforce traffic law.
9. Roads policing should be prioritised for investment by national government and those who allocate resources locally.
10. Training should be provided for roads police, investigation officers and family liaison officers about the practical and legal issues facing cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
6. All road crash victims should be included in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime so they receive support to the same standard as victims of other crimes with similar consequences.
7. Police officers at any stage of a collision investigation should guard against a propensity to blame the victim.
Road Justice police force map http://www.roadjustice.org.uk/police-petition-map