‘Safer Roads Team’ launched at police headquarters

Leicestershire Police has introduced a new team of special constables and volunteers dedicated to improving road safety and law enforcement on the roads of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The ‘Safer Roads Team’ was launched at force headquarters in Enderby on Thursday 28th June, where 18 Special Constables and four Police Support Volunteers received an input from the force’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU) before officially joining the new team.

PC Tony Bunker works with the RPU and said: “I’m really looking forward to working with the new team to combat anti-social driving behaviour and make our roads safer, in collaboration with the city and county councils, the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and TISPOL: the European Traffic Police Network.

“Our colleagues in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire Police already have well-established Safer Roads Teams staffed by special constables, and we aim to utilise our team in a similar manner.

“The team will be deployed to areas across the force as required, and will carry out a variety of traffic operations targeting a wide range of traffic offences, including FATAL 4.”

FATAL 4 offences are those most likely to cause death or serious injury and include drink/drug driving, excessive speeding, using a mobile phone behind the wheel and the non-wearing of seatbelts.

Fellow RPU officer PC Sean Stone added: “An average of 70 drink drug drivers are arrested across the Leicestershire Police force area each month, over the last three years we have seen a worrying fourfold increase in the number of drug drive arrests, rising from 23 in 2016 to 56 in 2016 and 93 last year.

“In 2016 officers also issued 543 speeding, 698 seatbelt and 533 mobile phone notices.

“We hope the new team will cover a wide expanse of traffic related offences, which we hope will in turn improve the safety of our roads and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured due to traffic offences.”

The team will be primarily staffed by special constables and police support volunteers, supported by various regular officers and the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership.

Richard Smith, a Police Support Volunteer on the Safer Roads Team, said: “My main role will be “spotting” for the team. For example I’ll be looking out for drivers using their mobile phones, driving without their seatbelt, or any vehicles that appear un-roadworthy.

“I’ll then radio the details through to the officers who will make attempts to stop and check the vehicle.”

Special Constable Alison Rudkin also signed up to the new team. She said: “After being a special constable for 2 years I feel this is a huge opportunity and something I really want to get involved in. Not only to further my skills, knowledge and experience within the force but equally to be part of an initiative that is making roads safer. It was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass.”

Anyone who has concerns about traffic offences in their community is advised to contact their local policing team

[Source/Photo: Leicestershire Constabulary]