Cops defend traffic officer cuts

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POLICE chiefs in South Yorkshire have defended the number of traffic officers they employ – pointing out that the number of people killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads is at its lowest level since records began in 1979.

They released the figures after road safety charity, Brake, criticised the Government for cutting police service funding and pointing out that the number police traffic officers on the roads, nationally, has dropped by over 11 per cent in the last five years.

But South Yorkshire is one of the police forces with the highest number of traffic officers, with 193 last year compared to 209 five years earlier.

Chief Superintendent Keith Lumley, head of operational support services and the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “We adopt an intelligence-led approach meaning that our available resources are deployed in areas they are required most.”

He added: “Our approach has seen us consistently reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads from 639 in 2007 to 435 in 2010, the lowest since records began.

“As with all areas of our business, we have to make difficult choices concerning budgets and resources.

“South Yorkshire Police and its partners recognise the importance of denying criminals the use of our roads, tackling dangerous driving and reducing road casualties.

“Together we will strive to do all we can with the resources available to us.”