Lawrie Lewis – Road Policing Unit
Headquarters, P O Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 8QJ
01275 816842 Facsimile 01275 816884 E-mail
Hours 0800-1630 Monday to Friday
ref: Your ref: Date: 10 October
you for your letter of the 1st October concerning the response you have
received from the Avon and Somerset Safety Camera Partnership.
one of 11 organisations that make up that Partnership we are disappointed
that the response you received from them does not seek to answer your query.
As a partner organisation we believe that transparency is important to
inform and reassure the public that the work of the Partnership is properly
focused on tackling a significant cause of road collisions and casualties.
However, the Avon and Somerset Constabulary is not the lead agency for
the Partnership. That responsibility falls to Somerset County Council and,
in the first instance, the correct place to raise your concerns of the
Partnership failing to adequately respond to your query should be addressed
Mr Nigel Farrow (Oxon) DMS, MCIPP
Transport and Environment Dept
common with all police forces officers who attend the scene of a fatal
or personal injury road collision are obliged to complete a statistical
return (Stats 19) for the Department of Transport. The content of Stats
19 is subject to period review and change by the Department of Transport.
Although the police are responsible for collecting the data we are not
responsible for it’s collation and final publication. Once collected it
is passed to the consortium of local authorities that make up the Avon
and Somerset force area for verification, electronic inputting and subsequent
transmission to the Department of Transport who, in conjunction with the
National Statistics Office, publish annual reports on Road Casualties in
for your information a copy of the Stats 19 form that was in use up to
2002 and a copy of that which is currently in use. You will note that the
speed related causational factors have been changed in the latter example.
own unit uses Stats 19 data as a component that informs intelligence led
policing, targeting police activity in the vicinity of collision hotspots.
It is used by local authorities, their road safety officers and highways
units, to influence local road safety initiatives and road re-engineering
decisions. It is used by safety camera partnerships, working to Department
of Transport criteria, when developing their annual operational case for
fixed and mobile camera sites that has to be agreed by the Department.
precise manner in which Stats 19 data is used by the Avon and Somerset
Safety Camera Partnership is something I consider they should answer and
I intend to write separately to Mr Farrow advising him of the police view
the comments you make in the opening paragraph of your letter and that
which I read on your website let me reassure you on a few points concerning
this Constabulary’s approach to Roads Policing;
formation of the Safety Camera Partnership in April 2002 has not contributed
to a reduction in officers committed to Roads Policing which is 230 officers,
in fact the opposite is true. The four police officer posts that were previously
assigned to speed enforcement were freed up to concentrate on the broader
aspects of Roads Policing and are now used to tackle road crime in conjunction
with Automatic Number Plate Reader (ANPR) technology focusing on the criminal
use of vehicles and those who drive without documentation.
have a holistic approach to road safety with a programme of themed operations
tackling a complementary range of road safety issues;
Criminal use of vehicles
Construction and use
In vehicle safety
Two wheeled safety
LGV’s and PSV’s
Anti-social use of vehicles
the issue of speed our officers’ focus is very much on protecting vulnerable
roads users in built up areas, driver education and addressing the quality
of life in rural communities where residents perception of a speeding problem
through villages if of major concern to them, often higher up the local
agenda than the fear of crime. Patrolling officers exercise discretion
in the enforcement of speed limits. Enforcement is only considered at speeds
in excess of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) threshold
of the speed limit plus 10% plus 2 mph. With the exception of the higher
end urban speeders, of more than 15 mph above the posted speed limit, any
urban speeder justifying prosecution is given one opportunity to attend
an educational seminar as an alternative to prosecution and endorsement.
All of the residual income from the educational seminar is handed over
to a charity; Lifeskills, who deliver a broad base of safety education
to primary school children in the region.
this Constabulary is fully supportive of the work of the Safety Camera
Partnership but it is has not been without media notice that we have been
outspoken with our concerns on the ethics of some operational deployments
in their foundation period. Those are historic in context and a way ahead
has been debated. A programme of adjustments has been agreed and will be
fully implemented in time to coincide with the revised Department for Transport
operational case period that will commence April 1st 2004.
that the ‘Safe Speed’ opinion of safety cameras will always remain polarised
to my own and we will have to respect each others views on that subject.
I believe that safety cameras play an integral and essential part of a
holistic road safety strategy. We are not complacent but in the first year
of operation of the Avon and Somerset Camera Partnership, in comparison
to the previous years figures, road death was down 15% and personal injury
we can continue with our holistic push to make the roads safer then we
have a real chance of meeting the challenging year 2010 casualty reduction
targets of the Department for Transport and many more families will continue
to enjoy each others love and company in good health for many years.