Road safety charity Brake says increasing police numbers is key to addressing the ‘stagnation’ in British road safety.
Brake points to figures showing a 15% decline in the number of roads policing officers in England and Wales in the last three years; as of March 2019, there were 4,457 full time officers.
Brake says police officers play a vital role in enforcing the law – but equally important is their role as a deterrent to dangerous driving.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “We have to act to address the stagnation in British road safety by increasing police numbers, to deter and enforce against dangerous driving.”
Drivers back increased police presence
Brake’s call for additional roads policing follows the publication of a survey which suggests that drivers feel roads are more dangerous now than they were five years ago.
In the survey of more than 1,000 drivers, carried out by Brake in partnership with Direct Line, 70% of respondents said roads have become more dangerous – while 80% believe there should be more police cars patrolling the roads.
Drivers also think that both speeding and mobile phone use behind the wheel have increased over the same period, according to the survey.
Joshua Harris added: “Drivers’ perceptions tell us a lot about the safety of our roads and so it’s deeply concerning to find that drivers feel the roads are more dangerous than they were five years ago.
“With roads policing suffering severe cutbacks, and drivers noticing the decreased police presence on our roads, perhaps this shouldn’t come as such a surprise.”