Star comment: Rehabilitation aiming to make our roads safer

There is no doubt that advances in technology have made the job of our police forces far easier.

Police
Police

When it comes to fighting crime, body-worn cameras, facial recognition software and drones are just a few examples of how evolving technology is transforming the way the police operate.

Roads policing is a clear example of some of these new methods working at their best, and thanks to dash-cam technology, police are able to target more offenders than ever before.

But while technology is a vital tool when it comes to snaring and identifying offenders on our highways, showing them the error of their ways is an entirely different matter.

Persistent offenders who feel it necessary to get tanked up on booze before taking the wheel can be a hard bunch to get through to, as can those who repeatedly drive at high speeds, showing no care or consideration for their fellow road users.

It is no secret that many police chiefs believe that while fines, points and prison terms can act as a deterrent, the worst offenders will continue to act dangerously on the roads unless a different type of intervention is brought in.

With this in mind, West Mercia Police is to be commended for its pioneering rehabilitation course, which is aimed squarely at making the roads safer.

The idea is a fairly straightforward one. The scheme aims to identify drivers who are putting other road users at risk, and rather than just punish them, educate them about the potential impact of their actions.

Importantly, support is also on offer if they are struggling with other issues in their lives.

Critics may lambast the project as simply the latest effort from a namby-pamby police force to pander to crooks who really should be rotting away in a prison cell.

Yet the fact is that what has been done up to now simply has not worked.

Often when people are committing crime they have other issues going on in their lives that may be influencing their behaviour.

It will be interesting to see if this initiative has a positive impact, and if it does, other forces should seriously consider rolling it out.

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