British road traffic police numbers on the decline

Britain’s traffic cops have been reduced by nearly 30% over the last decade - what does this mean for the thrill of driving?

A freedom of information request has recently revealed a 30% drop in the UK’s traffic police force, dropping from 3,766 officers in 2007 to just 2,643 in 2017. Far from being a win for the driving enthusiast, motoring institutions like the AA fear that this decline will reduce the efficacy of new legislation, as well as heighten the risk for all road users.

The numbers fell sharply between 2012 and 2017, and have been attributed to severe budget cuts within the department. Some counties have felt the pinch more than others – Northamptonshire Police has seen an 83 per cent drop in its traffic officer ranks over the last ten years, with just nine dedicated officers compared to 52 a decade ago.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> Speeding fines explained

A spokesperson from the AA responded to the report by saying “we need more cops in cars, not fewer. The UK has among the safest roads in Europe although the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads has started to rise after many years of steady decline. Maybe there is a link?”

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Home Office responded by saying new technology like automatic number plate recognition software reduces the reliance on traditional man power, and insists that traffic units still have the required assets to continue policing our roads to full effect.


Most Popular

BMW M3 saloon

2020 BMW M3 tech specs revealed – choice is the word for BMW’s sports saloon

BMW’s next M3 to be available in manual or auto; with and without all-wheel drive
1 Jul 2020
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £10,000 – evo garage

The evo team picks their favourite used performance cars
1 Jul 2020
Volkswagen Tiguan SUV

New 318bhp Volkswagen Tiguan R to join Arteon R and Golf R

The popular Volkswagen Tiguan has been updated, and revealed in new R and e-hybrid forms
30 Jun 2020
Audi e-tron

New 496bhp Audi e-tron S revealed – Audi’s first high-performance EV

The Audi e-tron S has picked up an extra electric motor for a total of three in new EV flagship
1 Jul 2020