NI traffic police down by 39% in 10 years

The number of dedicated traffic police officers in Northern Ireland has fallen by more than a third in 10 years, an investigation has revealed.

Monday, 31st July 2017, 7:30 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:02 pm
There are almost 100 fewer traffic police in NI than there were in 2007

The Press Association submitted a freedom of information (FOI) request to all 45 territorial forces in the UK, asking how many dedicated traffic officers they have compared with five and 10 years ago.

The PSNI revealed that there are currently 151 dedicated officers in Northern Ireland, a drop of 39% since 2007, when the figure stood at 249.

The figures also show there were 190 dedicated officers in the Province back in 2012.

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The overall results reveal cuts have accelerated across the UK in the past five years with numbers falling 24% since 2012, while overall the number is down 30% since 2007.

In 2007 there were 3,766 traffic officers in the forces which responded. In 2012 that figure stood at 3,472. By 2017 it had dropped to 2,643.

Experts have questioned how new laws, such as the ban on using mobiles while driving, can be enforced with 30% fewer officers dedicated to policing roads.

The AA said the decline could see more drivers getting away with crimes.

Responding to the figures, the Home Office said effective road policing is not just dependent on dedicated traffic officers, while the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) pointed out that all officers were able to help traffic specialists.