Road traffic police officer numbers fall 27% since 2010
There are almost a third fewer traffic police on the roads in England and Wales than in 2010, with enforcement shifting from active officers to cameras. At the same time, road casualty figures have been rising 4% year on year.
According to RAC figures, there are now 27% fewer traffic officers than there were in 2010. West Yorkshire saw the steepest decline in officer numbers, with a drop of 40%.
Outside London there are 1,437 fewer traffic officers than six years ago; 3,901 officers remain on duty on our roads. The RAC calculates that between 2010 and 2015 around five officers a week were lost.
The latest road casualty statistics show 1,775 reported road deaths in Great Britain in 2014; a figure which is rising by around 4% per year. The number of people seriously injured in road traffic collisions has risen by 5%, to 22,807.
The Department for Transport claimed the rise in the number of road deaths is "not statistically significant" and that the 2014 figure was the third lowest on record, after low rates in 2012 and 2013.
RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said:
Overall, these figures make for grim reading and are likely to be met with dismay by law-abiding motorists.
"While some numbers may be explained by organisational changes, such as officers taking on multiple roles and police forces working in partnership to tackle crime, the data still clearly shows that a majority of forces have seen a further fall in the number of officers whose primary responsibility is tackling crime on our roads."
A recent RAC survey found that enforcement of law and the behaviour of other motorists were two of UK drivers' biggest concerns; 62% said there were not enough police on the roads to enforce the law.