The vast majority of motorists are concerned about the lack of police presence on the road, new research has revealed.
According to the survey, 83 per cent of drivers want to see more road patrols, with 79 per cent worrying about how long they would have to wait if they needed help.
The research from publisher Autovia found that 69 per cent would feel safer and more secure with more patrols – and police agree.
In an interview with Auto Express magazine, the Police Federation’s national driver training and pursuits lead Tim Rogers, one of the UK’s most experienced traffic cops, slammed ‘invisible’ policing on UK roads.
Rogers said: “People using our roads every day have the right to feel secure and be kept safe. They deserve dedicated, professional, well trained police officers, and it is frustrating to witness them being let down by roads policing that has become virtually invisible,”
In an extensive conversation, the traffic officer said cutbacks had had a negative effect on expertise in all areas of policing thanks to less training and equipment. He added that the Government’s commitment to providing 20,000 additional officers was ‘just putting back what they’ve taken from policing over a number of years, and with insufficient thought about the infrastructure that also disappeared as part of those cutbacks, including the investment in training’.
Rogers added that officers were missing out on finding other criminality by not getting hands on. He says that many who commit road traffic offences are involved in other crimes, which are not caught through sending a summons through the post.
“The standard of driving is pretty appalling, but the people you’re going to moderate by sending out letters are those like me, who’ll take greater care. Is that who we want to be targeting as a police service? Potentially alienating them, while the high-level criminals continue to drive like idiots?”
Steve Fowler, Auto Express editor in chief said: “With over 40 million vehicles on UK roads, the decrease of visible roads policing is a growing concern for all road users. Dash cams and speed cameras can help by identifying offences, but they can never replace an experienced police officer.”