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Intelligent policing for the 21 st century Cathy Keeler Head of Campaigns Brake, the road safety charity.

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Presentation on theme: "Intelligent policing for the 21 st century Cathy Keeler Head of Campaigns Brake, the road safety charity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intelligent policing for the 21 st century Cathy Keeler Head of Campaigns Brake, the road safety charity

2 Brake Working to –Stop death and injury on the roads –Care for people affected by road crashes

3 The police Key allies in working towards these aims Traffic police dedicated to, and passionate about, road safety FLOs carrying out a vital role, often in difficult circumstances

4 Intelligent policing? Could do better… –Prioritising what’s important –Adequate resources –Achieving results –Putting the ‘customer’ first

5 Intelligent policing? Prioritising what’s important –Stopping the biggest cause of criminal activity causing deaths and injuries to the public Adequate resources –Numbers of officers –Crash investigations –Policing powers –Using available technology Achieving results –Numbers of enforcement checks –Providing a deterrent to law-breaking Putting the ‘customer’ first –Ensuring public safety –Family liaison

6 Prioritising what’s important Stopping the biggest cause of criminal activity causing deaths and injuries to the public –Road death is the biggest killer of year olds and the second biggest killer of younger children –Road death is the biggest ‘accidental’ killer of all ages –Road crashes cause half of all deaths of people aged 5-39

7 Prioritising what’s important Road deaths are likely to be proven to be a crime –No official figures collated –Many forces don’t record how many road deaths result in prosecution –Estimate = more than 50%

8 Prioritising what’s important In England and Wales in 2005 –2,915 people killed on roads –26,357 seriously injured on roads (Road Casualties Great Britain: 2005, DfT, 2006) –713 homicides plus 52 deaths in the London bombings (Crime in England and Wales 2005/06, HO, 2006) Four times as many people killed on roads as murdered

9 Prioritising what’s important National Policing Plan (first published 2002) –1 paragraph on roads policing –Under ‘reducing concerns’ about crime section –Not one of main priorities Roads Policing Strategy (first published 2005) –Still not part of main Policing Plan

10 Prioritising what’s important Brake is calling for… …Roads policing to be added to the four national priorities in the National Policing Plan …Targets to be set for key roads policing objectives

11 Adequate resources Numbers of officers Road crash investigations Policing powers and enforcement checks Using available technology (Family liaison)

12 Numbers of dedicated road policing officers falling –9,201 in –7,636 in (HMIC – quoted in Hansard, written answers, : Column 364W) Adequate resources - numbers of officers

13 Percentage drop –6.5% in 1990 –5.8% in 2000 –5% in 2002 (Road Traffic Law and Enforcement: a driving force for casualty reduction, PACTS, 1999) (Traffic Law and its Enforcement, Sixteenth Report of Session , Transport Select Committee, House of Commons, 2005) Adequate resources - numbers of officers

14 Adequate resources – investigation Road death –Investigation = days –Road open as soon as possible (hours) –One or two officers Homicide –Investigation = months/ years –Scene of crime closed for days/ weeks –Team of officers –Specialist incident room

15 Adequate resources – investigation Selby rail disaster Detailed investigation = one of the biggest criminal investigations ever undertaken –Nearly 1,000 officers –1,216 statements taken –1,962 lines of inquiry pursued, including tracing other drivers –1,985 exhibits logged –3-week examination of vehicle by teams of experts, piecing together more than 800 fragments to prove no mechanical defect –Police reconstruction of journey to prove speeding –Examination of phone and internet records to prove tired driving (no sleep)

16 Adequate resources – investigation Selby rail disaster Depth of investigation = decisive factor in conviction of Gary Hart for causing death by dangerous driving Not all fatal crashes need weeks of painstaking investigation in order to secure a conviction in court Need to ensure that dangerous drivers don’t ‘get away with it’, due to under-resourcing of investigations

17 Adequate resources – policing powers Random/ targeted enforcement checks –UK – not possible, need reason to stop driver –EU countries/ Australia/ New Zealand/ South Africa – able to stop and carry out random/ targeted checks, e.g. drink-driving

18 Adequate resources – policing powers New Zealand compulsory breath testing enforcement campaigns –theory - some people will still risk drinking and driving if they think there’s only a random chance that they will be tested for alcohol –test every driver on a particular road, rather than pulling out cars at random, or only if they are committing a traffic offence –if a vehicle passes a checkpoint the driver knows they will always be stopped and tested –checkpoints on possible ‘rat-runs’ Also mobile breath tests when officers see poor driving and following crashes – these are the only powers in the UK

19 Adequate resources - technology Using available technology –ANPR/ speed camera rollout – minority of roads covered –Portable computers with licence-holder information (+ link-ups to other relevant data) –Roadside drug tests Anecdotal evidence that budgets for equipment and training have been slashed

20 Adequate resources Brake is calling for… …More roads policing officers …Powers to carry out random and targeted enforcement checks …Adequate resources for training, equipment and roll-out of technology

21 Achieving results Numbers of enforcement checks Providing a deterrent to law- breaking Getting dangerous drivers off the roads

22 Lack of routine enforcement on our roads –Driver behaviour Speed, drink, drugs, seat belts, mobile phones –Vehicle roadworthiness Tyres, load safety Effort at specific times of year – Christmas and summer drink-drive campaigns, Road Safety Week Achieving results – numbers of checks

23 Compare –England & Wales Less than 1% of the population breath tested for drink-driving each year Levels of drink-driving have been increasing as levels of breath-testing has fallen –New Zealand 52% of the population breath tested for drink-driving each year Achieving results – numbers of checks

24 Achieving results – deterrent to law-breaking Do police actually provide a deterrent to law-breaking? YES - Brake surveys reveal: –37% of drivers think there is only a one in 10 chance of being caught if they drink and drive –53% of drivers say they would take more care on the road if there were more traffic police

25 Achieving results Brake is calling for… …A step-change in levels of enforcement activity …Police presence on the roads at levels which deter potential law-breakers

26 Putting the ‘customer’ first – public safety Putting the ‘customer’ first –Ensuring public safety –Family liaison

27 Putting the ‘customer’ first – public safety Ensuring public safety –Local communities crying out for road safety measures – including more enforcement –Fewer and fewer traffic police have time to do proactive educational work in schools (some volunteer for the FedEx & Brake Road Safety Academy in their spare time)

28 Putting the ‘customer’ first – family liaison Road death/ injury - traumatic, violent, sudden, unexpected –Extreme emotional and physical reactions, distress – need practical help and reassurance –Vulnerable – in shock, suffering traumatic stress Unfamiliar procedures - need information (and inclusion) –police, coroner, criminal, civil –organ/ tissue donation, viewing a body, mortuary, post-mortem, funeral, media

29 Supporting road crash victims What may happen if someone does not receive the support they need? Exclusion from procedures Practical problems become more extreme Traumatic grief and stress can develop into PTSD, with long-term effects on mental health and wellbeing

30 Putting the ‘customer’ first – family liaison Requirement to support road crash victims, appoint FLO –CJS Code of Practice for Victims of Crime –ACPO Road Death Investigation Manual –ACPO Family Liaison Strategy Includes handing out the BrakeCare pack and signposting support agencies

31 Putting the ‘customer’ first – family liaison The FLO role is vital, but… –Very few forces provide an FLO in cases of serious injury –Not all forces provide an FLO in cases of road death –In many forces, traffic FLOs are overloaded with cases –Government funding for BrakeCare pack to be withdrawn?

32 Putting the ‘customer’ first Brake is calling for… …More police engagement with local communities about road safety concerns and possible enforcement solutions …A statutory requirement for all forces to provide FLOs in cases of road death and serious injury

33 What’s the cost? Value for money –DfT cost-benefit figures - £1,384,463 per road death –includes £907,698 ‘human costs’ –2,915 road deaths in England and Wales (2005) = £2,645,939,670 Likely to be under-estimate –Cost of traumatised people to society?

34 What’s the cost?

35 Road Safety Week ‘Forgotten Victims’ campaign Police our Roads campaign Thank you!


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