The Metropolitan Police Service has launched a Road Crimes Team to tackle London’s most dangerous drivers – including one clocked driving at an astonishing 151mph on a stretch of the M1 in the capital earlier this week.
The creation of the unit was announced on Twitter on Tuesday by Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, who is the force’s lead on Vision Zero, with one of its key aims being to tackle “extreme speeding” as some motorists take advantage of quiet roads to push their cars to the limit.
— Andy Cox (@SuptAndyCox) April 14, 2020
He told The Sunday Times motoring website, driving.co.uk, that instead of trying to catch as many law-breaking motorists as possible, the new unit is instead focused on targeting “the most risky people, the most risky places and the most risky issues.”
The new unit comprises around 15 officers, and DS Cox said: “The name is Road Crime team because there is so often a link between people that are dangerous drivers and people that are committing other forms of criminality.
“We did some research. As an example, uninsured driving — we found two thirds were active in other crimes within the last two years. It backed up the whole concept, which seems obvious, that there’s a link between dangerous driving and other crimes.”
Yesterday, he tweeted about some of the team’s successes during its first day of operation.
V proud of @MPSRTPC officers. Despite #Covid19 impact in just 24hrs work included:
➖Arrest suspect re fail to stop fatal crash
➖Arrest suspects re 151mph fail to stop
➖Many offences enforced 100mph+
➖New ‘Road Crime Team’ enforce many #Fatal4 offences with arrests made. #Team pic.twitter.com/Xg6GKrqZQI
— Andy Cox (@SuptAndyCox) April 15, 2020
As we reported yesterday, London’s cycling and walking commissioner, Will Norman, is considering whether space on roads controlled by Transport for London can be given over to cyclists and pedestrians to aid social distancing during the current lockdown.
He and Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office are also discussing with boroughs in the capital over whether some mainly residential streets can be closed to motor vehicles altogether, and DS Cox said: “I would advocate, frankly, for this approach to be used anywhere.”
This evening, the government has extended existing lockdown measures by at least three weeks, and DS Cox said that the team’s work will continue even after they are lifted, with a possible doubling of the personnel involved.
He said: “I hope it improves confidence by targeting the right people, the right issue and the right location.
“I hope it has an impact on serious injury. I have a real belief that the team can make an impact and keep people safe.”
The launch of the new unit comes as tributes are being paid to a Metropolitan Police intelligence analyst who was killed while cycling to work last week.
Rachel Brown, aged 25, died as a result of a collision involving two motor vehicles in London Road, Sutton, southwest London, on Tuesday 7 April.
The force’s head of analysis and research, Tracy Dancy, said: “Rachel was a keen member of the analysis team within Met Intelligence.
“Joining as an Intelligence Analyst in February 2019, Rachel was hugely popular and a cherished friend and colleague.
“Rachel’s positivity, drive and enthusiasm for her role in the MPS, inspired those around her and left a marked impression on anyone who met her.
“Rachel will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.