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PCC and Police Chief bring partners together to tackle road safety in Norfolk

Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner reinforced his commitment to road safety in the county at a special conference last week.

The Road Safety Conference was the first of its kind for Norfolk and was held in response to a number of queries Norfolk Constabulary had received around road safety and road related crime - a key priority for PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie and the police.

The event at Wymondham Rugby Club, was attended by a number of partner agencies, including parish councillors, from across the county. Inputs from the constabulary included updates from the Roads and Armed Policing Team, Operation Moonshot, Young Driver Education, the Safety Camera Partnership and Community Speed Watch.

The conference, was chaired by Chief Constable Paul Sanford, and allowed people an opportunity to have conversations, understand local concerns and to discuss areas of improvement in order to make the county’s roads safer.

The PCC also outlined his road safety priorities as detailed in his first Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan for 2022-24.

"Whether it's through public meetings, my Time to Talk sessions with residents or the regular emails sent into my office it is clear road safety is a key concern for people living and working in Norfolk. It was also raised as an issue during my police budget consultation at the start of this year." said Giles.

"That is why it is crucial such conferences take place so those involved in helping ensure the county's roads are a safe place for everyone can come together to discuss community concerns and more importantly solutions and best practice.

"Road safety is a key focus in my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan which I launched a month ago, so it is imperative I keep across the work going on between police and partners in Norfolk to ensure my priorities are met and consequently, residents' voices are heard."

Chief Constable Paul Sanford, welcomed the event, saying: "The purpose of the conference was not only to raise awareness of the ongoing work that the constabulary is already undertaking in tackling road related crime but also to work collaboratively with our partner agencies to establish best practice and to steer the direction of roads policing in future.

“The topic of road safety, in particular speeding, is a subject which regularly gets raised with me.

“In Norfolk, roughly 30 people are killed and 400 seriously injured on our roads each year. The impact of these incidents on families, friends and local communities is devastating and I want to be clear - one death on our roads is one too many. 

"However, reducing those numbers is a challenge, when you take into account that motorists travelled 4.59 billion miles on our county's roads in 2020. Through a combination of police officer and safety camera activity, we take action on over 40,000 road offences each year, but enforcement alone will not reduce offending.

"Communication campaigns, driver education, road design and technology all have a role to play in making our roads safer."

Chief Constable Sanford expressed his gratitude to the many volunteers who support Community Speed Watch groups across the county. He said that the groups have an impact on driver behaviour and that the constabulary will be exploring how they can better use the information passed to them by Community Speed Watch to inform police enforcement activity. 

Find out more about the conference