TISPOL Road Policing Activity Seminar 20 May 2015 Bristol UK
TISPOL’S SEMINAR on road policing took place in Bristol on Wednesday 20 May. Chaired by Supt Paul Keasey, the seminar focused on innovation, creativity and action.
TISPOL President Aidan Reid drew attention to the vital role of partnerships in effective roads policing. He made specific reference to the important part played by Europol, Frontex and TAPA in providing good intelligence to support front-line policing.
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, took time to welcome overseas visitors before setting out his vision of converting the will of the people to the job the police do. He described being sent to visit the Czech Republic where he encouraged the use of partnership working to reduce casualties on a particularly dangerous road that ran through the capital, Prague.
He made road safety his focus as he invited the audience to consider the economic key for preventing road casualties. He also set out how roads policing was part of the overall solution for denying criminals the use of the road.
He considered technology, and pointed out that there were some high-level questions connected with its use in enforcement. “How can we better use ANPR across borders? How do we enforce based on ANPR detections? We need to think carefully about this,”he said.
Mr Jamieson added: There are three key areas:
· the road safety and denying criminals
· the desire to link roads policing into business
· the social cost – hearts and minds.
TISPOL can make the difference in facilitating partnership working and sharing good practice, he concluded.
Jens Starigk of the Federal Police of Brandenburg explained the importance of focusing enforcement efforts at the Polish and Czech borders, because of the relatively short time window in which to react to thefts – and the difficulties of locating a vehicle that successfully makes it across the national border.
“A lot of our criminals use the motorways, and this is why road policing is such an important function in Germany. The nearer a criminal comes to the border, the more aggressive his or behavior is likely to become,” he said.
Germany is a transit country, and criminals can travel through with relative ease. Cars can be stolen from Berlin and be in Poland or the Czech Republic in little more than an hour – and into the relative safety of new legislation and new rules.
Paolo Cestra, TISPOL’s Italy Council representative, presented how his country has been making the move from traffic policing to roads policing. “There is a civilian government with five national police forces,” he said. “Training is a key part of the move from traffic to roads policing, as is the ability to work in partnership with other technical agencies. In the past decade we have worked together very effectively.”
He also likened highways to ‘linear cities’, where commerce and shopping were taking place, and therefore more crimes could easily take place.
Paolo concluded his presentation with a round-up of figures gathered from Italy in 2014. “In the field of traffic, we decreased casualties by 9% and crashes by 12%. We also recovered stolen goods to the value of €12 million.
“One normal check of a van by a normal police patrol 15 years ago might have yielded nothing more if driver documents and vehicle documents were sound. But today, officers are far more thorough in the documents they check… In one instance, officers found an Egyptian national in a stolen German car
with eight illegal immigrants also on board, all form a straightforward roadside stop.”
Pre-planned police checks bring excellent results, especially if linked in with other enforcement agencies. Performance, technology, investigation – all intelligence-led.
Adrian Hughes of Dyfed-Powys Police showed the dense network of fixed ANPR cameras across his force area, while also drawing attention to the frustrations of sometimes not having available resources when an activation occurs.
“There is excellent rapport between the control room staff and the roads policing officers, so that coordination is well managed. Officers have personal issue mobile data devices so that they can carry out intelligence checks. They can also select which fixed site camera activations they receive,” he said.
“We need increased visibility today. We need roads policing to be out there, not coming back to the base every time they need to complete their paperwork.
“To make this work you need a network of cameras, an ANPR manager, RPU intelligence officer, ANPR analyst the involvement of information technology and – of course – funding.”
Paul Keasey concluded the morning’s business with the following thought: “We all have ANPR, but we all have budget issues. Different countries have different rules. We use ANPR predominantly for tackling crime. I think we only maximize ANPR to the tune of 15 to 20%. I think we’re missing a huge
opportunity by not using ANPR to its full potential.
“How could we use ANPR to assist with road safety, and not so much as a reactive tool?
The afternoon session started with a join presentation by Supt Shaun West and CI Phil Vickers. They explained why they agreed to work with Channel 5 on the Police Interceptors show. “As long as you go into something like this with your eyes wide open, then challenges are by no means insurmountable.But
the benefits are untold and untapped, and we have the full backing of local communities,” said Shaun.
Superintendent John Ferris of Ireland’s Garda Siochana spoke about social media. “There are so many common threads in terms of effectiveness and visibility. So far we have heard about police people reaching out to the public. But let’s turn it around and see what the public, the road users would say to the police.”
He warned that whether we like to acknowledge it or not, road users like to use social media. “The challenge is not to have our heads in the sand.
“We ensure that a consistent message is out there. Everything you do has to have a message behind it,” he said. “If you really want to engage with somebody, you really need a two-way conversation. With engagement comes interaction.”
Paul Keasey provided presentation on how to put on a Trivium Operation. “TISPOL took a really brave step with Trivium. We had the experience with cross border enforcement. Trivium 1 as a concept took off. Trivium 2 saw the introduction of systems and processes. We had the confidence to go further,
and Trivium 3 professionalised the process.
“Trivium has made a big impact that has permeated to the highest levels of government. The next step – a joint UK-Dutch operation, is a challenging undertaking, but it is key to a pan European operation where multiple countries will participate.”
The final presentation came from Mark Colley (NAVCIS) and Laurence Brown (TAPA), in which they considered public/private partnerships and initiatives for reducing crimes in the supply chain system. “Working in partnership assists us in understanding each others’ issues, needs and priorities.
“Eventually the consumer is the victim of cargo crime, so working in partnership will assist in the reduction of losses.”
Supt Keasey concluded the seminar by acknowledging the useful input received from the 60+ participants.