The Road Justice group met officers at Bridewell Police Station on 4th November 2014. It is clearly still a time of change for the police with a major reorganisation underway alongside the updating of all their computer systems. This possibly makes our engagement with them all the more important given the lack of continuity in terms of both personnel and focus on road danger reduction and enforcement.

The main points discussed at the meeting were: 

  • Superintendent Richard Corrigan has been appointed to lead on the implementation of the Force’s new Policing Roads Strategy document. Chief Inspector Andy Bennett has been appointed Commander Bristol North and West and will be our main local point of contact. Both expect to be around for 2+ years.
  • Police could not reassure us that they will attend all incidents resulting in injury to cyclists; on occasions they have to prioritise calls, but they will follow up all reports.
  • New “Road traffic collision response and victim service flow chart” has been rolled out and all beat officers have attended training on correct process to follow in dealing with incidents.
  • We reiterated our belief, backed up by evidence, that neither their 101 phone service or electronic reporting systems allow cyclists to report dangerous driving and near misses. Police said they are reorganising their reporting and dispatching service and claim that, when this is done, this will improve things.
  • Told incident logs would not be closed if supervisors felt correct process had not been followed or appropriate action undertaken. Would be referred back to officer for further action.
  • We stated that BCyC concerned not just with incidents resulting in injury but also street harassment, especially involving women. Police took point seriously and will look at how they could prioritise this.
  • We reiterated our belief, backed up by evidence, that neither their 101 phone service or electronic reporting systems allow cyclists to report dangerous driving and near misses. Police said they are reorganising their reporting and dispatching service and claim that, when this is done, this will improve things.
  • The Police’s Victim Support system has already been reorganised but is very much focused on supporting those in certain vulnerable groups plus those who are to be witnesses in criminal proceedings but does not cover most other victims of dangerous driving. The Police have agreed to go away and look at this.
  • We pressed the police on the enforcement of 20 mph speed limits. They said they are taking enforcement action but generally only where community speedwatch and/or rumble strips had identified a problem. Police suggested road traffic speeds had come down although not necessarily to 20 mph.
  • We will be having further meetings with the police.