The President of the AA, Edmund King, has written to the UK’s Police Federation warning that enforcement should not be left to technology and that more patrols are needed to reduce crime and deter uninsured drivers.
Whilst the government’s funding boost for police to use video evidence as part of a two-year road safety action plan is welcome, he says, it can’t be an excuse to cut police officer numbers.
King’s letter said that technology has a role to play with cameras and dashcams, but that traditional roads policing will still be paramount.
Up to two thirds of cars in the UK are likely to be equipped with dashcams over coming months with a fifth (20%) of drivers already owning one while another half (51%) thinking about doing so, 16% seriously, according to an AA-Populus study.
“Previous Home Office research showed that the most serious motoring offenders were far more likely to be involved in mainstream crime,” said King. “Hence, traffic police have a crucial role in making the roads safer and solving broader crimes. Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, was caught by an officer carrying out traffic duties.
“Camera technology in the form of speed cameras or indeed dashcams can help reduce or clear up crimes but not at the expense of traffic cops.”
King will be speaking at Traffex, 2-4 April at Birmingham’s NEC. Sign up at www.traffex.com.