Metropolitan Police traffic head talks directly to CTC about cyclist fines

Metropolitan Police traffic head talks directly to CTC about cyclist fines

Following reports that the Metropolitan Police had set a target for officers to fine 40 cyclists in 4 months, I heard from Detective Chief Superintendent Glyn Jones, the head of the Met's traffic police unit.

You will see below that DCS Jones describes the internal target-setting memo as a misinterpretation of his instructions. CTC welcomes this, but we sought his assurance that no police officers in London still have targets to fine cyclists.

His response was that the original target set was intended to target dangerous behaviour by both motorists and cyclists and that only those who commit an offence would receive a FPN. He has not clarified whether or not these targets are still in place.

He has, however, assured us that officers have been instructed to stop giving advice about helmets and hi-vis to cyclists. This instruction was made because he believed all those cyclists the Met intended to give this advice to would have been reached by last Friday (November 29th). He has offered to meet with CTC to discuss wider issues arising from this campaign.

This letter is his original response.

Dear Ms Weston,

You will probably be aware of a report in The Times this morning concerning an email sent by one of my inspectors and hopefully you will have seen my response as printed by the paper.

I wanted to write to you personally to give you, and through you CTC, a more complete account of the relevant facts.

On the 18th of November I issued an instruction which was a direct response to the recent number of cycling fatalities which had occurred in quick succession. That instruction was intended to direct the attention of patrolling officers to a greater enforcement of cycle lanes, ASLs, failures to comply with red traffic lights and careless cycling. You will note the first two objectives relate to offences that can only be committed by motorists. The third is dangerous and unlawful, regardless of who commits it. Careless cycling, like careless driving, can result in death or serious injury.

Whilst the majority of my supervisors passed my direction on either without amendment or with some reinforcing message, one inspector added his own interpretation of my instruction. His interpretation was contrary to my intention and he has published a correction.

From the 18th of November The Traffic Command and the Safer Transport Command deployed additional resources to the Cycle Super Highways. From Monday 25th November our resources were focused on key junctions, which analysis showed had a higher incidence of people being injured in collisions or where cyclists had been killed. We have been supported in this operation (Operation Safeway) by officers from numerous other departments. Throughout this operation I have been at pains to stress the focus is on enforcement against dangerous road use and not against any specific group of road users.

On the figures I have today, I can tell you that a total of just over 2,100 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued as part of the operation, of which 755 were issued to cyclists and almost 1400 to motorists. Many of those issued to cyclists concerned not having lights after dark and there is a system for cancelling these if the cyclists evidence rectifying the problem within 3 days.

This operation has been put together in order to try and reduce cyclist injuries and deaths. Between 5th November and 18th November there were 6 such deaths in the Metropolitan Police District. From the 19th of November until now there have not been any. I would like to think that what we are doing has made a significant contribution to that turn around.

I hope that these further facts will help to reassure you of our commitment to reduce deaths on London's roads and enforce the law in respect of all road users.

Yours Sincerely

Glyn Jones

Detective Chief Superintendent Glyn Jones
OCU Commander
MPS Traffic OCU


Click here to read CTC's response to the announcement that the Met had been set targets for fining cyclists.  

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