Highways England should take on a policing role, PCC says

06/04/2018

Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has called for ‘routine’ areas of roads policing to pass to Highways England to enable police officers to prioritise more serious crimes.

Martin Surl said: 'The days when police are tied-up checking heavy goods vehicles, tachographs, the weight of loads - the sort of things a traditional traffic officer used to do - are past. If the police are to focus on more serious issues like organised crime, modern slavery and child sexual exploitation they cannot do it all.'

In recent years, MPs have warned that cuts to police numbers have seen driving offences go undetected. In 2016 the Transport Select Committee highlighted that the ‘total number of detected motoring offences...has more than halved during the past decade, from 4.3m in 2004, to 1.62m in 2013'.

Mr Surl added: 'I am not suggesting that policing our roads is not important because it is. It’s a question of priorities and I think that some of the more routine work could be carried out just as effectively by Highways England.

'The police workload is increasing at a time when their numbers and other resources are diminishing. Freeing-up officers from some of their more mundane responsibilities would surely be a good thing.'

A Highways England spokesman told the BBC such a move would need to be approved by the Home Office.

The policing and monitoring roles for roads are arguably more fragmented than in other transport modes such as rail.

Police are responsible for catching offences on roads; however in London and Wales councils can enforce moving traffic violations, a bone of contention for many other local authorities.

The Office of Rail and Road has a much smaller health and safety role in highways, measuring performance against the Road Investment Strategy rather than acting as regulator for the whole industry as it does in rail, with a range of formal enforcement powers including as the crown prosecutor.

For highways, responsibilities are divided between the Health and Safety Executive, who will be in charge of construction areas where road workers are deployed and for incidents taking place on the road involving workers. The local police oversee all driver incidents.

The issue of policing smart motorways has also caused some controversy, with many drivers seemingly unaware of the rules and Highways England resorting to sending out warning letters to offenders.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Inside

  • The £2.5bn Surrey partnering contract
  • The politics of protest
  • Stoke's roadworks league
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Shopmobility & Public Convenience Attendant

Grade 3 - Starting at £18,657 per annum, pro rata rising to £19,905
We are looking for an individual who works well in a small team to deliver an excellent level of service at our flagship Market Road Public Conveni... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Waste Collection Operative - HGV Driver/Loader

Grade 5 - Starting at £23,403 per annum, rising to £25,791
If you enjoy working outside and would like to make a positive contribution to the collection of both waste and recycling in the Borough, this coul... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Director of Climate Emergency & Behavioural Change

£95,000 to £109,000 per annum
At Waltham Forest we are developing an ambitious, transformative agenda to tackle the global Climate Emergency. Waltham Forest, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Waltham Forest

Street Works and Permitting Manager

£44,863 - £51,817
Are you a qualified highways engineer who wants to make a difference to the efficient running of the highway network within Lincolnshire? Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Warehouse Assistant/Driver

£20,903 - £24,491 per annum
An opportunity has arisen for the recruitment of a Warehouse Assistant / Driver. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highways Officer

£27,741 to £30,451
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? Brompton, Northallerton
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Officer

£27,741 to £30,451
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Bus Support Officer

£24,086
We are looking for people to work as part of our exciting new bus team! Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Greenspace & Environment Enforcement Officer

£20,092 - £24,491
You will work as part of a team undertaking environmental enforcement activities which focus on improving the street environment Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Transport Modelling Manager

£47,695 - £55,226
You will provide leadership to the organisations program of transport model development Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Engineer - Highway Planned Maintenance

£22,183 - £27,041
We are seeking to appoint an Officer with highway experience. We are delivering a Highway Investment programme across... Stockport, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Cleaning Operative

Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum, pro rota.
Chelmsford City Council are seeking a self-motivated, experienced and customer-focused Cleaning Operative to join our cleaning team. You will provi... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Quantity Surveyor - Highways Contracts & Commissioning (multiple posts)

£27,741 - £29,577
In return, the Council offers a variety of benefits including Local Government Pension Scheme, flexible working and an opportunity to be... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Performance & Assurance Manager - Highways Contracts & Commissioning

£38,447 - £41,412
The post holder will provide professional contract performance management and compliance support to... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Construction Cost Manager - Highways Contracts & Commissioning

£43,597 - £46,875
With exciting new developments and high profile projects underway and in the pipeline for many years to come, working with... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Programme Manager - Project Delivery

£43,597 - £46,875
The role requires a Programme Manager who understands the range of... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Team Leader - Programme Management Officer

£49,268 - £53,170
The post holder will be a technically competent leader with excellent organisational and communication skills to... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Project Officer - Project Delivery (multiple roles)

£27,741 - £29,577
The role requires skills, knowledge and understanding of project management and facilitating stakeholder groups, being able to... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Senior Project Officer - Project Delivery (multiple posts)

£33,816 - £36,470
With exciting new developments and high profile projects underway and in the pipeline for many years to come, working with... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video