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No more traffic cops in Notts

Published: 18 November 2001

Updated: 19 November 2014

They say there’s never a copper around when you need one but that could soon be dangerously true in Nottinghamshire.

The force is scrapping its traffic division to rely on speed cameras as its sole road safety enforcement.

It’s also binning Operation Brake, a scheme which works to cut bike theft.

Notts police is denying the cost-cutting move in public, but officers have called MCN to express their dismay at the decision, which is part of a " restructuring " scheme.

One officer said: " It has been suggested within the force that this will bring about an extra 10 deaths on the roads each year.

" As far as road safety goes, speed cameras will be pretty much it and that is unacceptable. Speeding covers a narrow band of people, generally those in cars. We need to pay more attention to buses and lorries as well, which also cause accidents."

Even the most generous estimates reckon speed causes no more than a third of all accidents.

That leaves two thirds of all accidents without a team dedicated to stopping them happening in the first place.

By April, every traffic copper in the county including those on bikes will be moved to other departments.

One of those sections will be a response team staffed by officers with advanced driver training. But they will only respond, not be on the roads as a visible deterrent to prevent people driving like idiots.

Unsurprisingly, riders’ clubs have attacked the plan. The BMF’s Jeff Stone said: " It’s a crazy move as cameras do nothing for road safety. We need more police on the roads, not more cameras. "

The force will also lose its off-road section, which uses two Suzuki DR-Z400s. They are used to catch criminals in inaccessible areas, be they estates or farmland. One officer said: " As soon as kids know there’s no off-road team, they’ll be out nicking bikes again. It will be back to epidemic levels. "

Nottinghamshire is one of the counties chosen to test a scheme where fines from speeding were ploughed back into more cameras.

Essex police also tested the idea and scrapped its traffic cops earlier this year.

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