Roads policing

Part of: Policing on the beat

After decades of declining road deaths in England and Wales, in 2013 they begun to level out. Between 2015 and 2018, an average of 1,610 people lost their lives each year. This change coincided with a cut of around 34 percent (or £120m) in the annual amount that police forces spent on roads policing.

In 2019, HMICFRS carried out an inspection of roads policing in England and Wales. We inspected one example of a collaboration between forces as well as a further five individual force areas. The inspection focused on five areas: strategy; structure; partnerships; enforcement; and prevention. We sought to identify how police forces, with partner agencies, reduce harm to road users across the road network in England and Wales.

Our inspection asked:

  • Whether roads policing strategies are effective;
  • Whether capability and capacity matches demand;
  • How the police engage effectively with the public, and;
  • How well the police forces are trained in roads policing.

Our findings show that there is an absence of effective strategies, both nationally and locally, resulting in an approach that is inconsistent and, in some forces, inadequate. To improve the effectiveness of roads policing in England and Wales, this report laid out 13 recommendations for improvement.

Get the report

Read ‘Roads Policing: Not optional – An inspection of roads policing in England and Wales’