Following public consultation, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) launched his Police and Crime Plan in December 2016, within which he set out his key priorities for delivery to 2021. Road safety is mentioned as one of three key public concerns outlined by the PCC within his Plan, and through it the PCC demonstrated his intention to protect existing measures which keep the public safe, whilst seeking innovation in preventing and tackling these issues.
The Panel’s scrutiny focused upon the traffic related crime and nuisance which is causing the greatest concern within the communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and also considered elements relating to road safety.
The level of response to this scrutiny demonstrated that traffic related crime and nuisance was of significant public concern. The evidence received suggested particular concerns relating to the use of the A32, speeding and animal casualties within the New Forest and also highlighted a need to better protect vulnerable road users.
Heavily discussed were the efforts of local Community Speedwatch groups, a number of whom attended the Panel’s meeting to provide further evidence. Volunteers expressed disquiet over the lack of ability to operate on roads where the speed limit was above 30mph and suggested that improvements were needed in the approach taken to analyse and make use of data being produced by the volunteers. During the meeting the Chief Executive of the OPCC offered support in undertaking analysis of data being produced by Community Speedwatch groups, and it was heard in the January meeting of the Panel that the OPCC were developing a tool to do so.
Efforts made by Hampshire Constabulary to prosecute offenders were recognised, with evidence demonstrating that the maximum numbers of speeding penalties allowable were being issued annually and that 97% of those caught using their mobile phone at the wheel received a penalty.
In order to support the Commissioner in his intention to prevent and tackle traffic related crime and nuisance and to improve road safety across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight the Panel made a number of recommendations seeking to address the concerns raised.
A letter to the Commissioner outlining, in full, the Panel’s findings and recommendations from this review is published below.