Neil Mitchell reveals link between cut in police and drop in fines
New figures show the stretched highway police are struggling to do their job.
Neil Mitchell has revealed the number of Victorians being caught speeding has nearly dropped by half.
And Neil thinks it’s related to a cut in police on the road.
Two years ago, highway police were ordered to patrol in pairs. It was considered dangerous for them to work alone.
But the overall number of police was not increased to cover that.
Since then, the number of speeding fines issued has dropped from 156,000 to 91,000, a fall of 41 per cent.
Other offences, such as using a mobile phone or failing to wear a seatbelt, are down about 31 per cent.
Neil said it’s critical to have more police cars on the road.
“I understand why police are working two to a car, but the fact is inescapable,” Neil said on Tuesday.
“It is seriously affecting our policing of the roads.
“I don’t believe drivers are suddenly driving more safely and obeying more laws.
“Police presence is essential to getting drivers to obey the law.”
Acting Superintendent John Fitzpatrick from Road Policing Command told Neil police never like having their capacity reduced.
Mr Fitzpatrick said an increase in car impoundments has also been a hindrance.
“Each impoundment is a court appearance. That takes our members off the road while they’re going to court,” he said.
Mr Fitzpatrick said he fully supports the “two-up” policy.
Click play for the interview