In confidence with Inspector Dave Browning: Working with the community to make roads safer for everyone

Police inspect the road worthiness of a vehicle
Police inspect the road worthiness of a vehicle

Speeding, not complying with road signs and inconsiderate parking (especially round schools) are issues that are regularly brought up for the police and council partnership.

As a wider issue, criminals often travel in cars and I am keen to deprive them of the use of our roads.

If you have been following this series of articles it will be clear to you by now that my team get involved in a spectrum of activities, traffic issues being just one.

My Sergeants allocate staff to do enforcement work based on a number of things. We use quantitative data from speed indication devices (SID), qualitative data from public meetings and conversations with, for example, local elected councillors to decide how often, when and where we enforce traffic law. Incidentally, it is not just the police that use SID, our council neighbourhood wardens will regularly take the kit out to help get data.

When action is needed it is not just for the police to do

Recently in Todmorden Sergeant Bowden responded to concerns raised by local people at a public meeting. Partners worked with us from Taxi Licensing, vehicle examiners from the Vehicle Operators Services Agency, DVLA and HM Revenue and Customs Road Fuel Testing unit.

As a result unsafe vehicles were taken off the road, drivers using ‘red’ diesel and not paying their fair share were made to do so and various other offenders were prosecuted. Importantly, Sergeant Bowden went back to the next public meeting to explain how he had addressed their concerns.

So what?

Tackling issues that matter to local people is key to retaining and building upon your confidence in us. There are no ‘quotas’ for how many tickets my team give out, so if we get it right and explain that we are prosecuting drivers in response to concerns raised by local people, then even those who are prosecuted can understand that there is a reason why we are trying to change their driving behaviour.

Now what?

As I’ve said before in this series of articles, if local people tell us what’s going on, we’ll do the rest.

Of course, our police and council partnership will try to react in a proportionate way. We’ll allocate resources thoughtfully with the intention of reducing numbers of casualties, making local neighbourhoods feel safe and depriving criminals the use of the roads.