Call for investment and backing for roads policing

Roads policing should become part of the Strategic Policing Requirement and be given proper backing and investment, according to the Federations national lead on pursuits and driver training.

Speaking at the virtual Roads Policing Conference 2021, Tim Rogers called on ministers to "put your money where your mouth is".

His comments came during the closing session of the day-long event, a round table discussion on the short-term future of roads policing entitled Accelerating Change.

Tim told delegates: "I’ve been to a few of these conferences and what they are exceptionally good at is talking about getting to that general consensus of needing to improve and move things on.

"But without the right funding we are only going to make limited progress and I suppose what I’d like to see is pressure put on through the PCCs and the chief officers around the country.

"The Government has been making a lot of noise about how much they are supporting the police service at the moment, the reinvestment we hear about and the 20,000 extra cops.

"But what I am not seeing from a roads policing perspective is a guarantee that the reinvestment is going to go into roads policing and I think what would really help is if roads policing was to become part of the Strategic Policing Requirement."

Tim said the roads policing budget used to be protected and suggested a return to the time when funding was ring-fenced and chief constables did not have an option of  spending it elsewhere.

He continued: "If the Government is serious about it, if we are serious about it, that’s where it needs to be.

"So rather than see the odd line in a police and crime plan that mentions roads policing, we are actually being a bit more strategic about it because we know we have the backing and the funding and we know we are going to get back to numbers we had 10 years ago."

And he added: "I’d like to see people putting their money where their mouth is."

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, who represents the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) on the Roads Policing Review, praised the Police Federation for its commitment to roads policing.

He told delegates: "The Police Federation needs to take a huge amount of credit for keeping roads policing on the radar over the last 10 years. 

"It’s really, really valuable and generates that noise with the Government and they are starting to listen.

"I am incredibly optimistic, and we are definitely making progress."

NPCC Roads Policing Strategic Business Manager Dean Hatton said he was optimistic that more proposals to improve roads policing were now being acted upon.

He said: "We all want to pull in the same direction, and I think that is what is happening for the first time. I am really confident we will start to see some progress over the next three to 12 months. I think the future is bright for roads policing."