Fall In Number Of Full-Time Roads Policing Officers

The number of full-time roads policing officers in England and Wales has fallen for another year, new figures show.

Thirty out of 42 forces cut their staff for this role from 2014 to 2015 resulting in an overall reduction of 5%, according to analysis of Home Office data by the RAC.

Since 2010 the number of dedicated roads policing officers has been slashed by 27%, the study found.

Pete Williams, of the RAC, said: "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."

Releasing the figures in response to a Parliamentary question asked by Labour MP Jack Dromey, Police Minister Mike Penning wrote: "Decisions on the size and composition of the police workforce are operational matters for chief officers working with their Police and Crime Commissioners and taking into account local priorities.

"What matters is how officers are deployed, not how many of them there are."

The RAC analysis does not include the Metropolitan Police as the merging of units means its figures cannot be compared with other forces.

The Commons' Transport Select Committee published a report in March calling on the Government to halt the decline in specialist roads policing officers.

Department for Transport figures for 2014 show that road fatalities grew by 4% from the previous year to 1,775 and the number of people seriously injured increased by 5% to 22,807.