A top traffic cop in the United Kingdom has called for the use of dashcam footage from the public to be made available to police forces across the country in a bid to tackle irresponsible and unsafe drivers. This follows criticism to the Government from the Police Federation which has seen traffic cop numbers decline over recent years.
It wants a new approach to roads policing after the total number of specialist roads officers across all 43 forces has seen a decline from 5,634 in 2010 to 4,934 in 2017, according to data from the Home Office.
Jayne Willetts, roads policing lead at the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) said;
“To put it bluntly, the current situation is not good enough,”
“There are some people in the Government and some senior managers that will agree resources do matter, but for others the message is simply not getting through. Think of what we could achieve with more. Think of the lives we could save if we had more resources.”
Although the Government recently introduced new measures to tackle drivers on their mobile phones, little is being done on the enforcement side of the law as there are to few officers available to tackle these issues, enabling drivers to continue doing what they previously did before any change to the law.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), believes the UK could have the safest roads in the world if drivers had a “genuine fear of being caught” if they speed, use a phone at the wheel or drive under the influence of drink or drugs.
Bangham said the lack of resources and money could possibly be mitigated if “all police officers make it their business to police the roads” and the public could upload dashcam footage of any wrongdoing. Police forces in Wales have been trialling this method of policing and have extended the pilot scheme which sees the publics dashcam footage used to help catch dangerous drivers.