Essex Police says road officer cuts do not mean reduced service

Essex Police said an Apple Mac laptop was stolen between 11pm on February 9 and 8am on the following

Essex Police said an Apple Mac laptop was stolen between 11pm on February 9 and 8am on the following day in Albion Grove, Colchester. - Credit:

A senior officer at Essex Police has hit back at concerns over cuts to road policing teams in the county saying dedicated staff are patrolling the highways.

The RAC said in parts of England where patrols had been slashed drivers felt there was a low risk of being pulled over for traffic offences.

According to a survey carried out by the motoring organisation the number of traffic officers in Essex fell by 71% from 2010 to 2014, the second biggest drop in the country.

However Essex Police has said although total officer numbers had dropped, those patrolling the roads were now dedicated to the task all of the time instead of being split between the highways and other police duties.

Chief Superintendent Andy Prophet said: “Essex Police has a total of 191 officers and staff working in dedicated roads policing roles. These vary from traditional roads policing patrols, to specialist accident investigation and longer term casualty reduction and driver awareness training.

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“Last summer the force carefully reviewed the demand for roads policing and in September 2014 re-established dedicated roads policing teams across the county.

“This review reduced the number of roads policing patrol officers from 140 to 80. However, prior to the review, the 140 officers were not dedicated to roads policing and spent half their time on other policing duties.

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“Now the 80 officers are now dedicated to policing the roads work and continue to be supported by another 111 officers and staff in other specialist road policing functions.

“Roads in Essex are safer now than they have ever been. However, we continue to strive to drive down the number of people who are injured or killed on our roads.”

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