Harrogate police

North Yorkshire Traffic Police reduced by 40%, but force told to prioritise road safety and to make it a strategic policing requirement

12 October 2020
  • Traffic Police reduced by 40% between 2014 and 2108
  • Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) and releases a report – release 11 recommendations
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) release 13 recommendations
  • Julia Mulligan, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, calls for greater penalties and;
  • Some of the money raised through fixed penalty notices to be reinvested into enforcement and road safety measures

A Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police confirmed that Traffic Police have reduced from 76 to 46 over a 4-year period.

That figure includes Inspectors, Sergeants and Officer:-

  • 2014 – 76 officers
  • 2015 – 67 officers
  • 2016 – 62 officers
  • 2017 – 53 officers
  • 2018 – 46 officers

Traffic Police generally attend serious injury or loss of life incidents, rather than smaller collisions.

On the 4 June 2020, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) released a report ‘Roads policing and its contribution to road safety’ . It is a report that investigated links between roads policing, compliance with traffic laws and road casualties.

It  summarises the policy and responsibility framework for policing in the UK and identifies trends in enforcement, compliance and casualties relating to the “fatal four” offences (speeding, drink and drug driving, non-wearing of seat belts and mobile phone use).

It summarises the evidence on the effectiveness of general and specific enforcement techniques; and it identifies opportunities to improve roads policing and road safety.

It made the following recommendations:

  1. Roads policing should be included in the Strategic Policing Requirement.
  2. Police and Crime Commissioners should prioritise roads policing and road safety within Police and Crime Plans
  3. The number of roads policing officers should be increased.
  4. NPCC roads policing strategy should be revised.
  5. HMICFRS should include roads policing in its annual assessment.
  6. Collaboration and partnerships should be widened.
  7. Intelligence should be enhanced and more widely shared.
  8. Greater use should be made of technology.
  9. The support and participation of the public should be encouraged.
  10. Safe system indicators should be used to monitor road safety
  11. Research and evaluation should be enhanced

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) released a report Roads Policing: Not optional – An inspection of roads policing in England and Wales

The report made 13 recommendations, including a recommendation to make Roads Policing part of a force’s strategic threat and risk assessments, along with a review by April 2021.

Julia Mulligan, Police Fire a Crime Commissioner has called for more action and bigger fines to tackle drivers who break the law with  more those fines being invested in road safety

Nearly 4,000 people from across North Yorkshire responded to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ (APCC) research as part of 66,000 nationwide.

The findings from the North Yorkshire Police force area include:

  • 37% describe the roads as safe and 8% describe the roads as very safe
  • 79% say they would support more enforcement of road traffic offences.
  • Two-thirds of respondents agreed or agreed that fixed penalty notices for road traffic offences like speeding and failure to wear a seatbelt (currently £100) should be increased in line with other serious offences like driving while using a handheld mobile phone (currently £200).
  • 86% agreed that some of the money raised through fixed penalty notices should be reinvested into enforcement and road safety measures to deny criminals the use of the roads – presently money from speed camera fines goes to central government for general expenditure rather than directly to police.

The nationwide survey’s findings mirrored those in North Yorkshire and was the largest ever conducted by the APCC. The results have been used to try and influence a Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on roads policing which closes today (Monday 5 October).

The national results of the survey are available at https://www.apccs.police.uk/latest-news/apcc-road-safety-survey-results/

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

Thank you to those who had their say on road safety and roads policing in this survey. I know that offences like speeding, not wearing seatbelts and using mobile phones behind the wheel present huge challenges for communities across North Yorkshire and York, especially in rural areas.

The responses to the survey both here and nationwide show a strong public desire for more enforcement to catch those breaking the law on our roads, greater penalties to deter those who flout the rules and more ringfencing of the fines levied to put towards greater detection of criminals and investment in road safety.

I look forward to hearing the Department for Transport’s response to this survey and the wider consultation on roads policing and hope they listen to your views.

Julia Mulligan has not commented on the specific recommendations by PACT and HMICRFS


  1. Let’s hope something is actually done with mobile use and a massive increase in speeding.
    Nothing done in the last 20 yrs in Knaresborough.

  2. The Police Fire and Crime Commissioner ( PFCC ) has presided over the demise of Road Traffic Policing in North Yorkshire in recent years. The PFCC who was the Conservative candidate in 2012 and 2016 has towed the party line carrying out Conservatives Government cuts to budgets which have affected the effective Policing of North Yorkshire.

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