With over 34 million licensed vehicles in Great Britain, the roads are extremely busy and their unlawful and antisocial use effects people’s safety and sense of security.
The Roads Policing Group includes a number of smaller teams such as the Road Crime Unit, Motorcycle Wing and Serious Collisions Unit. Together they patrol the roads, disrupt criminality, tackle antisocial driving and reduce road casualties.
The Roads Policing Group has responsibility for policing South Yorkshire's motorway network and other major roads, and is split into two sections – one covering Doncaster and Rotherham and the other covering Sheffield and Barnsley.
Over 24,000 people were killed or serious injured on UK roads in 2010. South Yorkshire Police is part of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership that continually works to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads of South Yorkshire.
As well as providing numerous car patrols, the Road Policing Group includes specialist units as described below:
Road Crime Unit
The Road Crime Unit’s aim is quite simply to target criminals where they are most vulnerable - on the roads.
In particular, the unit targets burglars involved in offences known as "2 in 1" burglaries, where thieves will break into homes to steal ignition keys to expensive cars parked outside the house. The unit also target drug dealers, car thieves, members of organised crime groups and other prolific offenders.
The unit are trained in pursuit management and have access to high-powered vehicles equipped with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.
Serious Collisions Unit
This team of highly trained officers attend all fatal and life changing collisions carrying out reconstructions, site surveys and vehicle examinations.
It is the role of the Serious Collisions Unit to provide an unbiased and detailed report on scientific and physical evidence found at the scene of a collision.
Their investigations look at the vehicles involved in the collision, the road and other surfaces in order to determine a cause and any potential fault.
Police motorcyclists have a distinct advantage over car patrols in responding to incidents during times of heavy traffic.
Motorcycyle officers cover the whole of South Yorkshire and their areas of expertise include:
• Escort work, including, football coaches, category 'A' prisoners, VIPs, fast/slow ambulances and abnormal loads
• off-road enforcement and tackling nuisance motorcycles
• partnership working with VOSA and Trading Standards
• specialist support for fatal/serious collisions
• demonstration / march policing and traffic management for major events.
The Motorcycle Wing use a variety of bikes including BMWs and Yamahas equipped with speed detection equipment, and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.
The South Yorkshire Police Motorcycle Wing is heavily involved in the national BikeSafe initiative and run BikeSafe courses each year. Dates for these courses can be found on the BikeSafe website.