Drop in traffic cops has led to lawless motorists in London
London’s roads are "lawless", according to the Mayor’s official road safety czar.
Jenny Jones said the massive drop in the number of traffic police in the capital was “disastrous” and that the Met had become “heavily over-reliant” on technology such as speed and traffic light cameras and that its manpower was no longer sufficient to police the rising number of motorists not licensing their vehicles.
Currently, there are 692 traffic officers in London - a fall of around 50% over the last 20 years - that police the capital’s 3 million or so drivers. Ms Jones has called for the deployment of 50 more officers a year over the next 3 years.
Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: "Too many drivers have been getting away with speeding and other motoring offences for too long".
"While the number of cameras has gone up, the number of officers has gone down. What cameras can't do is trace the large number of illegal drivers - to do that you need skilled officers on the ground."
"There is now a culture in London - in contrast to the rest of the country - where people feel they can get away with driving dangerously."
The situation does not reflect the national picture, according to the Evening Standard. Home Office figures show that last year there were 7104 traffic officers in Britain compared to 8084 10 years ago. In the same period, the number of illegal drivers in London has risen sharply.
The Met's traffic unit has six bases, more than 120 cars and around 140 motorbikes.