Suffolk invests in additional roads policing motorcycle team

In a week where five people have died on our county’s roads Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore officially launched a new policing team aimed at reducing the number of road casualties in Suffolk.

Suffolk’s new Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT) will carry out pro-active patrol targeting vulnerable road users and collision hotspots.

Tim Passmore PCC for Suffolk said: “Everywhere I go people talk to me about issues on our county’s roads. People are concerned about speeding, particularly on our rural roads and they are really annoyed to see so many drivers using their phones at the wheel. I hope this motorcycle team will act as an effective deterrent to stop this unlawful behaviour.”

“Suffolk is one of only two constabularies that have invested in roads policing recently and I stand by this decision. Far too many people are dying on our roads and we need to do all we can to stop this. The additional visibility of this new team will help make Suffolk’s roads safer, it will target vulnerable road users such as younger and older drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of Roads Policing, said: “The creation of this new team will see officers being much more pro-active in their ability to target hard-to-reach groups such as motorcyclists and carry out patrols in problem areas, all with the aim of helping improve road safety.

“We already do a lot of work to engage with motorists as part of our routine patrols while also attending specialist events; the real benefit of this team allows us to enhance this work as we are able to dedicate these officers for specific tasks and events. These patrols are above and beyond our normal capability which means they can concentrate on casualty reduction work without the need to respond to routine calls.”

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr James Finch, who joined the PCC to officially launch the new Road Casualty Reduction Team said, “All partners are working closely together through the Suffolk Road Safe Partnership to look at ways to reduce the casualties on Suffolk’s roads. During the darker months, all road users need to ensure they are visible and use the right lighting and protection. We all have a responsibility for the safety of road users. I am pleased to encourage collaboration with Suffolk Police and other partners to ensure we achieve the most effective road safety programme possible.”

The team, made up of four police motorcyclists, is supported by Suffolk RoadSafe and provides additional support to routine patrol deployment. The team will be funded from the constabulary budget for the rest of this financial year; from April 2016 it will be funded from the Driver Diversionary Fund, which comes from motorists who have taken part in speed awareness courses. Most drivers caught speeding are offered speed awareness course, approximately £20 of this goes into road safety in the county, the rest pays for the course.