Humberside reps at roads policing conference
Two Humberside Police Federation representatives attended a two-day national roads policing conference which grabbed press headlines after West Mercia’s Chief Constable Anthony Bangham called for zero tolerance on speeding drivers.
Inspector Robert Grunner, lead collision investigator at Specialist Operations in Melton, and PCDavid Williams joined officers from across England and Wales at the conference which was organised by the national Police Federation and National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and held in Leicestershire at the end of January.
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Roads Policing – a new approach’ and sessions included single intelligence entity, challenges of road safety, tackling motorcycle enabled crime and an update on police pursuits.
There was great interest in Mr Bangham’s call for an end to the widely applied 10 per cent plus two miles per hour buffer over the limit and his suggestion that drivers caught exceeding a speed limit by just one mile per hour could be penalised.
Inspector Grunner, who attended the conference for the first time, said Mr Bangham’s speech was his highlight.
“We feel almost forgotten as an area of policing so his words created real debate about speeding and the importance of roads policing in our communities,” he explained.
“I also enjoyed the Met Police input on Op Stingray and how they stop and deal with motorbikes. The case law R v Jenkins session gave me excellent knowledge about who can cause death by dangerous or careless driving and, following the conference, we are hoping to integrate a road traffic collisions mobile app in Force.”
Insp Grunner, who has been a police officer for 17 years and a Federation representative for two years, continued: “The quality of the conference speakers and the passion for our specialism was impressive. But roads policing is a forgotten area until a major incident occurs and we’re unable to deal with it.”
David Williams, a roads policing officer for 10 years and Federation representative for six months, agreed that Mr Bangham’s speeding speech had been interesting but he said his update on the change in law for police pursuits was particularly appealing.
“The campaign for a change in the law has been going on for a long time as police officers are still being investigated and prosecuted for pursuit related offences,” he said.
“Pursuits are increasing in number but with reduced support and it’s often the police officer in court. While this issue does seem to have cross party support in Parliament, it’s a long way off being sorted.”
He added: “It was good that Jesse Norman MP from the Department of Transport said the Government will fund an initiative for an evidential breath test device and I particularly enjoyed the break-out session by Sgt Dave Clement of Northumbria Police whose presentation about a fatal RTC taught me a lot.”
The Federation’s national lead on roads policing, Jayne Willetts, said at the conference: “We need to have roads policing officers targeting the ‘fatal four’ to keep the public safe, yet the number of dedicated roads policing officers has almost halved since 2000 with just under 4,000 now working across England and Wales. We are calling on chief officers not to reduce this number any further.”