Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made by the Police Research and Planning Branch of his Department in its inquiry into the policing of motorways; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Brooke
On behalf of a Working Party representative of police authorities, chief constables, the Ministry of Transport and the Home Office, the Police Research and Planning Branch has been examining as one of its first tasks the basic standards of policing for motorways and major through routes, in the light of the experience already gained by the police forces concerned.
A considerable amount of work has been done within the Branch, and seven forces with responsibility for policing motorways have been visited. It has been agreed that a field experiment lasting about three months is needed, to provide practical experience in the working of a unified policing system for a complete motorway. This will be achieved by setting up a motorway traffic command which (subject to the continuing operational responsibility of the chief constables concerned) will direct all the police motorway units.
In agreement with the police authorities and chief constables concerned, for whose generous offers of full co-operation I am most grateful, it has been agreed that the experiment should be conducted on the M.6 motorway. Officers of the Lancashire, Cheshire and 119W Staffordshire County Constabularies will work in close conjunction with members of the Home Office Research and Planning Branch in carrying out all stages of the experiment, including different systems of patrol organisation with and without the use of a helicopter.