Members questions on roads policing, free trade agreements and e-scooters
The government have received a draft report of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) on roads policing. The date for publication will be decided by HMICFRS.
The HMICFRS consultation on its proposals for a new framework for future PEEL inspections is currently suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will respond to these proposals as and when the consultation process is resumed.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are responsible for the totality of policing within their force area. This includes ensuring the Chief Constable delivers an effective and efficient police service to meet the priorities of the local community. PCCs are required to set out their strategic objectives in a Police and Crime Plan following consultation with the public and local partners.
The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the primary function of police officers, as part of the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletins, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales .These data include 4415 Full Time Equivalent officers whose primary function is “Road Policing”, and officers with multiple responsibilities are recorded under their primary function.This government is fully committed to giving the police the powers and resources they need to fight crime. The Chief Officer will decide how to deploy available resources in dealing with all the issues for which the force is responsible, including roads policing, taking into account any specific local problems and demands with which they are faced.The Home Office collect and publish arrests data (available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2019), however, information on the officer making the arrest is not collected.Manufacturers have 15 devices that are currently seeking product type approval from the Home Office, with varying timelines to approval ranging from a few months to 3 years.
Differing timeframes for the approval process are influenced by a number of complicating factors, for example improvements identified by the type approval process that are required for meeting approval requirements, the submission of valid test reports or the provision of manufacturer’s data.
The Government has committed to increasing the number of police officers by 20,000 over the next three years. An additional 20,000 officers sends a clear message that we are committed to giving police the resources they need to tackle crime and keep our communities safe.
The Home Office has confirmed the allocations for every force in England and Wales in the first year of the uplift. 6,000 additional officers have been allocated to forces across England and Wales by the end of March 2021 and over 3,000 have already been recruited.
We are working closely with policing leaders to ensure the additional resource will have the right impact. Chief Constables remain operationally independent, and the deployment of officers is an operational matter for local Chief Constables.
Data Protection legislation already allows for proportionate sharing of personal data for law enforcement purposes. The legislation also provides mechanisms to do this.In the Refreshed Road Safety Statement in July 2019 we announced the most comprehensive review of roads policing and this reflects our commitment to continuing to reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. The exchange of data pertinent to road safety between agencies and organisations is being explored as part of the review.We will also shortly be launching a Call for Evidence to help us further investigate the link between enforcement, collisions, congestion and crime. Respondents will have the opportunity to outline their views on what could be done to better enable and equip those charged with enforcing traffic laws.
HM Government has been clear that we will not lower British standards as a part of future free trade agreements.
Good progress is being made on the review on roads policing, including on the inspection of roads policing and a Call for Evidence to run alongside that inspection.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have completed their thematic review of roads policing in seven police forces and will be issuing a publicly available report in due course.
The Department will be publishing the Call for Evidence shortly.
Consideration will then be given to the responses and we would expect to produce the final report on roads policing once all the evidence has been considered.
Asked by Lillian Greenwood MP
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what e-scooter trials are (a) operational and (b) in the planning phase. (91017)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on establishing the evaluation arrangements for e-scooter rental trials. (91018)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria his Department will use to determine whether e-scooter rental trials are successful. (91019)
Answered by Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport:
“E-scooter trials are underway in Tees Valley, Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire, the West Midlands and Staffordshire. Trials have been approved in Norfolk, York, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Cambridge and Peterborough, Liverpool, Nottingham and Derby, Redditch, Kent and Slough and these will start soon. The Department is also assessing proposals for trials in some other local areas.
Data sharing agreements have been or will be put in place between the Department and the e-scooter operator(s) before a trial can commence. This will provide data on the number and types of journeys completed by e-scooters. The Department is in the process of setting up a large multi-disciplinary contract for the national evaluation of the trials. This will consist of data analysis as well as qualitative and quantitative primary research.
The evaluation will assess some key issues: the safety risks presented by e-scooters; the mode shift to e-scooters from other forms of transport; public perceptions around their use; and other identified impacts from their use. These will inform a decision on whether e-scooters should be legalised and what a suitable form of regulation for e-scooters would be.”