Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely and Leader of the Isle of Wight Council Lora Peacey-Wilcox have called on Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police Chiefs to take positive action to address dangerous driving across the Island.
In a letter to Chief Constable, Olivia Pinkney, and Police & Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, they said there was a growing consensus amongst Islanders that Isle of Wight’s roads were not as safe as they could be and expressed their concerns about the lack of a dedicated Road Policing Unit (RPU) on the Island.
They said: “We feel that dangerous driving is increasingly becoming a problem, along with related issues such as illegal exhausts. We are both receiving regular emails from Island residents and parish and town councils complaining about the dangerous driving of an irresponsible minority.
“One of the reasons why we are getting more complaints - across the Island - may be because we have not had a dedicated Road Policing Unit for some time. Our Road Policing Unit is rolled in with the Island’s armed response team, which spends much of its time supporting serious operations. Road Policing Units perform a valuable role not only in identifying dangerous driving, but also in education and cracking down on disqualified drivers.
“We are of course grateful that teams come over from the mainland Hants. & IW Force to support us, but it is not the same as our own force on the Island. Now that our policing levels are increasing on the Island, we ask you to give serious consideration to the need for a dedicated Road Policing Unit on the Isle of Wight.”
They also supplied figures obtained via the House of Commons Library which showed that in 2020, the Isle of Wight had the highest rate across Great Britain and outside of London for people killed or seriously injured in road accidents.
They added: “The reality is that nowhere outside London needs a Road Policing Unit as much as the Isle of Wight.”