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Dangerous driving

Volume 732: debated on Thursday 11 May 2023

The petition of residents of Osmaston Road, Harborne, Birmingham,

Declares that there are serious concerns surrounding speeding on Osmaston Road; further declares that illegally modified motor cars, Quad Bikes, Motor Bikes and Commercial Vans travel on this road at a high speed, which is deeply frightening for residents of the road; notes that the petitioners have repeatedly attempted to engage with the Council on this issue and have not received a response.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to work with Birmingham City Council Highways Department and West Midlands Police to address the concerns of the residents of Osmaston Road to prevent dangerous speeding.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Preet Kaur Gill, Official Report, 21 March 2023; Vol. 730, c. 304.]

[P002816]

Observations from the Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire (Chris Philp):

The Government recognise that any form of antisocial, dangerous or inconsiderate behaviour involving vehicles is a serious issue. We have ensured that the laws and resources are in place to tackle these issues.

First, the powers for the police to use are in place. It is an offence to exceed the speed limit, drive without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other people. It is also an offence to drive an illegally modified vehicle under the construction and use regulations. The police also have the power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize vehicles being used in an antisocial manner.

In addition, the Government have provided the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of antisocial behaviour (ASB), including that involving vehicles, through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

In terms of resources, the Government have provided significant financial resource to the west midlands and is increasing the number of officers available. We have confirmed a total police funding settlement of up to £17.2 billion in 2023-24, an increase of up to £313.8 million when compared to 2022-23. West Midlands Police will receive up to £719.2 million in 2023-24, an increase of £23.6 million when compared to 2022-23. As of December 2022, forces have recruited 16,753 additional officers as part of the police uplift, making up 84% of the target of 20,000 additional officers. As of 31 December 2022, West Midlands Police has recruited 1,048 additional uplift officers against a total three-year allocation of 1,218 officers.

How these powers and resources are deployed in the west midlands are rightly decisions for local leaders who are accountable for their use. Law enforcement, including on the roads, is an operational matter for the police. It is for the police to enforce road traffic legislation and investigate road traffic incidents using their professional judgement. Chief officers will decide how to deploy available resources in conjunction with local policing plans, taking into account the specific local problems and demands with which they are faced. They are best placed to understand how to meet the needs of local communities like the residents of Osmaston Road, Harborne, Birmingham.

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will identify local needs and in consultation with the chief constable draw up a five-year police and crime plan which sets out the local policing priorities.

Likewise, how local authorities, including Birmingham City Council, deal with local traffic management issues is for the local authority rather than being a matter for central Government.

We suggest that the petitioners raise their concerns about dangerous speeding on Osmaston Road, Harborne, Birmingham with their local PCC for the west midlands, Simon Foster.

We know that there is a link between excessive speed and the risk of collisions, and that it must be frightening for local residents. We fully support the police and local authorities in using the powers and resources they have available to protect their local residents and tackle antisocial behaviour.

The Government will continue to support the police to ensure they have the tools needed to enforce road traffic legislation and ASB powers.