February 7 2017
West Midlands Police close pass operation Mark Hodson and Steve Hudson
Police across six forces in England, covering a population of 7.6 million people, have confirmed they are looking to roll out a close pass operation pioneered in the West Midlands last year.
West Yorkshire and Devon & Cornwall have confirmed they will adapt the Give Space, be Safe operation for their beats, while police in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, who work together on roads policing, are considering the same, as are Dorset Police.
The news follows announcements that UK constabularies, including the Metropolitan Police, Avon and Somerset and East of Scotland Police, will trial Give Space, be Safe in London, Bristol and Bath, and Edinburgh, among other places.
Surrey Police are still assessing whether they think the operation will work on local roads, while police in Derbyshire and Cheshire told road.cc they don’t feel the operation is suitable for their beats.
Two West Midlands Police officers, Steve Hudson and Mark Hodson, designed the operation last year to tackle collision rates and fears putting people off cycling, which has received huge levels of publicity nationally and, with just a few hours of police time, halved close pass reports in Birmingham.
After sending four or five officers to a demo day last month, run by West Midlands Police and attended by 16 UK police forces, West Yorkshire Police confirmed they are now working alongside Leeds City Council on a pilot scheme to start in the city in spring.
A spokesperson told road.cc: “The trial is likely to be run in the Inner North West area of Leeds in spring, focussing on areas where there are statistically more cycling collisions.
“If shown to have a positive impact on reducing causalities, then West Yorkshire Police and other authorities, who work collaboratively in an established Safer Roads Partnership, will consider a greater roll out.”
West Yorkshire’s Safer Roads Partnership covers five local authorities: Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.
Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, Head of Roads Policing at Devon & Cornwall Police, said although they was unable to attend the demo day, his force is looking to develop a similar initiative.
Ch Insp Leisk told road.cc: “We are going to send up a team to learn from [West Midlands Police] and see how we can develop the idea for our 22,000 km of road network in a mixture of urban and rural environments.