Close pass policing could be rolled out to 16 forces: is yours one?
January 18 2017
A close pass initiative to protect cyclists could be rolled out by 16 police forces across the UK, covering a population of more than 20 million people, after police from Somerset to Edinburgh attended a training session on Friday.
West Midlands Police devised a simple sting operation last year using a decoy, plain clothed police officer, in a bid to reduce close overtaking and poor driving around cyclists, since which time it has achieved widespread praise, and halved complaints of dangerous overtaking by local cyclists.
The 16 police forces that attended a training and Q&A session near Edgbaston on Friday, covering at least 18 policing areas, were Avon and Somerset, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Humberside, Leicestershire, Merseyside, Norfolk, Surrey, South Yorkshire, Sussex, Warwickshire, West Mercia, and West Yorkshire, and Police Scotland, covering a total population of almost 20 million people.
Following the training session, Hampshire Constabulary, which operates its road policing unit in collaboration with Thames Valley Police, say the scheme will be launched across Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Meanwhile, traffic police in the East of Scotland today confirmed they will be rolling it out in Edinburgh. Road.cc has contacted all forces that attended, but has not yet had responses from all of them.
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson confirmed roll out of the scheme to road.cc: “The ‘Close Pass’ initiative looks excellent and we are making preparations to use it across Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police areas. A launch date is anticipated soon.”
Meanwhile, East of Scotland Police today announced they will pilot their own close pass initiative in Edinburgh in the spring.
Chief Inspector Stephen Innes, Local Area Commander for Road Policing in the East of Scotland, said: “The safety of all road users, including cyclists who we recognise as a vulnerable group, is a priority for Police Scotland and we regularly run operations and initiatives to reduce casualties and educate all drivers, riders and pedestrians.
“We will in the spring be launching a new initiative focusing on the close passing of cyclists and are working with partners to pilot the scheme in Scotland’s capital city.”