AVZ Blog: Roads Policing – Tackling the Priority Offences

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Priority offences

Police have limited resources. They do not have the capacity to detect and sanction all motoring offences. Action Vision Zero thinks the priority should be on those offences which pose harm to others, especially those road users more vulnerable. Our four priority offences are:

  • Speeding
  • Careless Driving
  • Mobile phone use
  • Uninsured vehicles

See the table below for data on the total number of officer detected offences and how many were these priority offences for each police service in England and Wales in 2019. We have identified officer detected offences as those reported by the Home Office as ‘non camera’ detected speed limit offences and ‘driver present’ for the other three offences (Note: the Home Office uses this classification and does not provide data on non camera detected for the other three offences).

Note: excluding cancelled offences. Officer detected offences are non-camera detected speed limit offences and ‘driver present’ with careless driving, mobile phone use and uninsured vehicles.                                    
Home Office (2020) Police powers and procedures, England and Wales, year ending 31 March 2020, Fixed penalty notices for motoring offences statistics data tables: police powers and procedures year ending 31 March 2020                                                                                                                                                           
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/929088/fixed-penalty-notices-police-powers-procedures-mar20-tables.ods  

The graph below shows the percent of officer detected sanctions reported by the Home Officer that were on the priority offences (speeding, careless driving, mobile phone use, and uninsured vehicles). With a national average of 51%, this ranges from a low of 37% In North Yorkshire to a high of 74% in Durham.

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