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Gloucestershire Business News

PCC backs call for better policing of roads

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl has backed an official report outlining the need for better policing of the UK's roads.

The report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services said roads policing in England and Wales has become less important.

And, despite the high number of people killed on the country's roads each year, it criticised PCCs who made little or no reference to roads policing in their force police and crime plans.

Mr Surl, who has been re-elected as vice-chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, has made Safe and Social Driving an integral part of his Police and Crime Plan since 2012.

He said: "I can understand why cuts in spending may have influenced others but road safety has always been a priority for me.

"I think I was the first PCC to make it so and may have been the only one for quite a long time because I believe people should be able to move around our communities in safety and with as much ease and convenience as possible.

"Taking back control of local roads policing was a major consideration in allowing the Tri-Force agreement with neighbouring Wiltshire and Avon and Somerset Police to end because it has enabled us to focus on local concerns."

Mr Surl pointed towards Operation Indemnis which centred on the A417/419 and resulted in fewer fatal or life-changing collisions as well as hundreds of motorists being stopped for speeding, using mobile phones, tailgating and other offences.

"Education programmes run by my office in partnership with the Fire & Rescue Service are also helping to prepare new and novice drivers and my next Police and Crime Plan will include measures to help those with more experience who might be anxious about returning to the roads after lockdown," said Mr Surl.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said the inspection suggested that road policing is "seen as less of a priority than it should be".

He said: "Spending on roads policing has been cut by 34 per cent resulting in fewer officers dealing with offences that cause road deaths.

"There is a clear, and pressing, need for government, police and crime commissioners, chief officers, and the College of Policing to recognise the importance of roads policing in reducing death on the roads."

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