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24 May 2016, 09:28
The numbers of dedicated roads policing numbers in Northamptonshire have been cut by more than a third in a year.
The RAC have obtained the figures from across England and Wales (not London) and found apart from West Yorkshire (40%), the biggest fall in roads policing numbers is in Northamptonshire.
In 2014, Northants Police had 59 dedicated roads policing officers. In 2015, that had dropped to 38, a 36.1% reduction.
Other neighbouring forces have also seen more modest reductions of between 2-7% (Beds, Herts and Cambs).
In the Thames Valley, the force have increased their traffic officer numbers from 203 to 204.
All this comes as Government figures show an increase in the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads.
Department for Transport figures for 2014 show that road fatalities grew by 4% from the previous year to 1,775 and the number of people seriously injured increased by 5% to 22,807.
We asked Northants Police for an interview, they have given us this response:
"Roads Policing and Armed Policing lead for EMOpSS, Superintendent Steve Potter, said:
'Northamptonshire Police is part of the East Midlands Operational Support Service, a regional collaboration with Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, which puts the force in a strong position in terms of depth of resource and resilience and allows resources to be called upon from across the region.
Roads policing is carried out by the Roads and Armed Policing team and the Tactical Roads Policing team which, as well as firearms support, provides roads policing support, including initial response to fatal and serious road traffic collisions and roads policing enforcement.
In addition, the force’s Safer Roads Team within the joint police and fire Prevention and Community Protection Department, focuses on additional local enforcement of traffic issues as well as prevention and education."
Figures obtained by Heart show the other forces mentioned in that statement have had fewer cuts than Northants (Leics 6%, Notts 13%, Lincs 8%).