Police axe road safety education officers

Councillor John Greenwell
Councillor John Greenwell

Police Scotland’s decision 
to disband their civilian 
road safety team has been slammed by Mid Berwickshire Councillor John Greenwell.

Councillor Greenwell told us: “I really despair with what is happening at Police Scotland.

“I met with the police road safety officer earlier this week to talk about her work in schools on road safety only to find that it was her last day at work as they have axed her job.

“The decision has left council bosses scrambling to work out how they will continue to deliver and fund a life-saving programme which includes campaigns targeting cyclists and young drivers, plus driver training for local businesses.

“I am constantly dismayed by the relentless changes to 
Police Scotland’s so-called backroom staff.

“These posts such as the front desks at the police station, traffic wardens and road safety officers are normally the first point of contact with the police service by the general public and children.

“To remove these services, in my opinion, is a backward step in community engagement.

“We are told by our politicians in government in Edinburgh that we have more police on the ground than ever before, now that we have the new police force.

“This is not the reality on the ground; the perception is that there are less and this is, I am, sure because our policemen/women are being overcome by the burden of paper work, spending more and more time filling in reports, taking statements from people rather than being seen on the streets.

“Our police officers are working flat out to keep our communities safe in the Borders they do a sterling job; but our politicians must listen to the feed-back they are getting and give the police the tools and staff they need to do their job.

Three months ago Police Scotland’s Cheif Constable, Stephen House, told a meeting of road safety experts that road safety was one of the top priorities raised by local communities.

“Local communities consistently tell us that road safety is one of their top concerns and we have listened to that in shaping our policing response,” said Mr House.

Scotland’s top police officer reiterated their continued commitment to working in partnership with local authorities and others to highlight road safety issues and education.

“We are committed to working in partnership and we will continue to work with a range of partners on initiatives to highlight the importance of road safety.

“Our focus is on enforcement and by providing a more visible, dedicated resource across our national and local roads networks, we can help deter and detect poor driver behaviour,” said Mr House.