Number of traffic cops falls

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The number of full-time roads policing officers has fallen for another year, according to new figures.

Information released by the RAC and based on figures supplied by the Home Office show that 30 out of 42 police forces recorded a fall in the number of roads policing officers between 2014 and 2015 - collectively accounting for 352 fewer officers.

In Derbyshire, the force had 64 full time equivalent roads policing officers on March 31, 2015, down from 65 in the year ending March 31, 2014.

However, according to the stats, the force had 24 fewer roads policing officers in 2015 than it did in 2010.

Pete Williams, RAC head of external affairs, said: “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.”

Enforcement of the law and the behaviour of other motorists were two major concerns flagged by motorists surveyed as part of the latest RAC Report on Motoring. Sixty-two per cent said there are not enough police on the roads to enforce existing laws, while 34 per cent listed drivers who use a phone without a hands-free kit as one of their top concerns.

Mr Williams added: “We are acutely aware that the police are doing their best to manage challenging budgets and scant resouce, however the sustained reduction in roads policing officers is at odds with the consistent number of serious motoring offences being committed and the concerns already expressed by motorists around the lack of visible police presence on our roads.

“The RAC believes the motoring public deserves honesty from the government aorund whether there are enough resources in place to apply the law and cut down on illegal driving behaviour, some of which undoubtedly puts innocent lives at risk.”