New team driving down road crime
in the capital
A new policing team has been formed in London targeting the most serious offences that occur on the city’s roads.
The Road Crime Team was set up by the Metropolitan Police this week to focus on dangerous drivers, priority roads, uninsured vehicles and fatal four offences - speeding, using a mobile phone while driving, drink and drug driving and failing to wear a seatbelt.
Since the Government warned against non-essential travel, traffic has dropped considerably across the capital, leading to a rise in high-speed offences on London’s once-congested routes.
During recent weeks, the force has detected a number of excessive speeds, including a vehicle travelling at 140mph in a 70mph zone on the A3 and another travelling at 134mph in a 40mph zone on the A10.
It is hoped that the team, timely launched amid the coronavirus, will deter drivers from speeding and carrying out other dangerous behaviour on the roads.
In just two days, the team of 16 highly-experienced officers have already been making a difference on the city’s streets.
Since April 14, offences detected include:
• Four arrests - supply of drugs, supply of drugs and drug driving, possession of drugs and drug driving, drug driving
• Seven speeding offences – one 60mph plus in 30mph
• Two uninsured vehicles
The Met received over 200 internal applications for the Road Crime Team, allowing the force to select officers with the most appropriate skills, experience and capabilities.
The unit, which consists of an inspector, three sergeants and a team of constables, will be increased over the coming weeks, with up to 30 officers set to be involved within the next two months.
The team relies on data and intelligence gathered by the force and its partner, Transport for London (TfL), with which the force has a great working relationship.
The team is led by Det Supt Andy Cox, who has made vision zero his mission on the roads of London, since he joined the force in 2016.
He is highly proactive and has been appealing directly to the public to take road safety seriously on radio, in newspapers and across social media.
“Our aim is to focus on priority roads, priority people and priority themes. We want to save lives, tackle crime and change public perception of roads policing,” said Det Supt Cox.
“People will see that offenders are being prosecuted and that the team have the time to dedicate to this.
“The problem we have in road safety is complacency. We want people to realise that it can happen to them.”
He added: “I’m in no doubt that this is going to be an amazing team. We have personally selected these individuals and I’m confident that they will really make a difference.”
Det Supt Cox’s honest and down-to-earth approach has really caught the attention of the public and the media alike, particularly since the outbreak of COVID-19.
In recent weeks he has been interviewed by Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London and Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio about speeding in London during the pandemic, and his Tweets on the topic have been shared by BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine.
The hard work of Det Supt Cox and his colleagues in recent years is really paying off.
An annual survey is carried out by TfL, which asks thousands of people to rate the likelihood of roads policing enforcement in London. In 2019, positive responses rose by 17%.
The force is still finalising the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI) in collisions across London for 2019, but has predicted that it will be the lowest ever figure on record.