The Department has issued no specific guidance to the police on these matters. However, the current rules governing the National Safety Camera Programme and safety camera partnerships are contained in the Department’s Handbook Of Rules And Guidance For The National Safety Camera Programme For England And Wales 2006-07. On 31 January the Department issued, under cover of a letter signed jointly by myself and the Under-Secretary of State for Policing, Security and Community Safety, new guidance to local authorities, the Highways Agency and the police on the deployment of safety cameras from 1 April 2007. The guidance, which supersedes the handbook from 1 April, provides greater freedom and flexibility on the deployment of cameras as part of new arrangements, encouraging the establishment of wider road safety partnerships. The guidance does not stipulate how these wider partnerships should be structured. We believe this is best determined locally among partners.
The four-year independent evaluation report of the National Safety Camera Programme, published in December 2005, found that there had been a 48 per cent. reduction in personal injury collisions and a 72 per cent. reduction in those killed and seriously injured at safety camera sites in the Bedfordshire Partnership area. In addition there was a 23 per cent. reduction in the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at new camera sites.
The Department for Transport, the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers published a joint statement on 11 January 2005 about roads policing. The police make a vitally important contribution to improving road safety and are encouraged to work closely with local authorities and other partners, to identify the priorities for improving road safety in the local partnership area, including enforcement activity. The Department’s guidelines on the future deployment of safety cameras after 1 April 2007, published on 31 January 2007, encourages local partners to agree a joint strategy and their respective roles within that strategy.
The Department has not received any representations regarding changes in staffing levels within the Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership.