New roads policing unit based in Grantham and Louth launched to keep people safe on Lincolnshire’s roads
A dedicated team of officers has been launched to proactively patrol the roads of Lincolnshire.
Lincolnshire Police's new roads policing unit (RPU) has launched today (Wednesday) with the aim of reducing serious and fatal collisions, promote road safety, and to target criminals who use our road network to commit crime.
Based in both Grantham and Louth to provide effective coverage of the entire country, the unit will support the county response including local policing, neighbourhood policing and criminal investigation too.
Now comprising of two sergeants and 18 constables, the first officers on the team started at Grantham in January, with the Louth base opening today.
The unit has four key objectives, including a sustainable reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road collisions; to have the safest roads in the UK; to make Lincolnshire's roads a hostile environment for criminals and to reduce the risk to road users through education, engagement and enforcement.
Since beginning work in Grantham the unit has already see some impressive results. Four stolen vehicles recovered which was part of a larger operation around stolen tipper vans using a combination of intelligence-led policing and vehicle stop and search tactics and organised criminals were disrupted whilst trying to steal cable from the network.
More than 300 traffic offence reports for motoring offences have been made, as well as over 40 arrests in total for the team many of which involve traffic offences such as drink and drug driving.
The team will be deployed to any serious collision in the county, releasing response and neighbourhood officers to focus on incidents that are a priority in their communities.
Chief inspector Pat Coates, specialist operations, said: “Our new roads policing unit is vital in keeping people safe on Lincolnshire’s roads because they will bring a new focus on keeping road users safe from harm. Every serious collision we attend is a life changing event for those involved.
"By engaging with road users, educating, and enforcing road traffic legislation, we aim to reduce the number of people who have their lives potentially devastated by a road traffic collision.
“The team will support the work of their colleagues across the county in targetting criminals, removing opportunities for them to travel, and committing crime in our communities.
“By targetting drivers who are disqualified, drive without a licence or insurance, drive with defective vehicles, drivers who are unfit through drink or drugs, steal vehicles and those whose sole purpose is to commit crime, we aim to remove those offenders who cause the biggest threat on our roads."
All the officers will be trained to advanced driving standards, be trained in tactical pursuits and containment (TPAC), specialist traffic law, including HGVs, prohibition of vehicles and, the carriage of dangerous goods.
Some of the officers already bring years of experience in road traffic legislation, and the additional training will enable everyone in the team to effectively tackle issues that cause harm on our roads. In time, the team will bring long term benefits to improve road safety in the county.
Police and crime commissioner Marc Jones (Con) said: “The roads policing unit will reinforce efforts to reduce the number of serious and fatal collision – as well as targetting offenders who use our roads to travel into the county to commit crime.
“The chief constable and I listen carefully to our communities, when asked, road safety is one area that always comes high on the list of priorities. This new team will enhance the work already being done to keep communities and residents safe in the county.”
Officers will have a mix of marked and plain cars and bikes to patrol and will be tasked during their time on patrol using analytical data and will carry out intelligence-led patrols to achieve the aims of the roads policing plan.
Chief constable, Chris Haward, said: “The new team transform our roads policing capacity. Road safety is of the utmost importance to the people of Lincolnshire and also to those who visit. Our aim is to make this county the safest place to live, work and visit.
"Addressing the dangers that are inherent around road use by dedicating officers to this role will, I hope, have swift and meaningful results. Not only that, but by making sure that our RPU officers are the first port of call for anything relating to incidents on our roads frees up other officers to be able to deal with other priorities affecting our communities.”
Mr Jones added: “Having this proper, dedicated capability on our roads really does make a huge difference, both in reducing fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, but also in keeping criminals out of our county.
“Ultimately, our roads are the way our criminals access our communities so, by focussing on them, denying criminals the use of our roads, it’s key to preventing crime, particularly in rural areas but not exclusively. We know a lot of crime that happens in Lincolnshire are people coming from out of county to prey on our communities and we’re determined to get that under control and grip it.
“There's no crime in Lincolnshire that sadly kills as many people as incidents on our roads. We all set out on a journey in the morning to get to work to get to school, whatever we are going to do, and we have a full expectation, quite rightly, that we’ll go home again to our loved ones.
"We all need to work together as a community, especially the police, to help make that community.
"The RPU will be a really good back-up for our regular officers that we already see in our communities. It’s a really good part of our system, it’s good value for money, and it’s a direct result of what council taxpayers told us they wanted to happen in last year’s consultation, so we’ve listened, responded and delivered.”