News

UK Traffic police numbers fall by 11.6%

  • Cuts revealed over five-year period
  • Wales hit the hardest with 37% fall
  • Charity calls for Government action
Words ByPete Barden

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The number of traffic police enforcing the law on UK roads has been slashed by nearly 12% over the past five years, according to road safety charity Brake.

Data from Freedom of Information requests to 52 UK police forces revealed that cuts in numbers of traffic officers are six times greater than the reduction in overall police numbers during the same period this was down by 1.8%.

Wales has been hit hardest, where the number of road-policing officers has been slashed by 37% since 2007. England was next, with a reduction of nearly 10%. Northern Ireland has cut heads by 7.3% and Scotland has lost 3.6%.

Brake is calling for Government action to halt the decline, which it warns could lead to more drivers believing they can get away with drink-driving and other illegal activities.

A survey last year by Brake and insurance firm Direct Line revealed 53% of drivers think there is less than a one-in-four chance of being caught if they drink and drive; 31% think there is a less than a one-in-10 chance.

Pete Barden