Keeping Order on the Roads
There are regular complaints that the police could spend their time better by catching criminals rather than pursuing motorists and other road users who park - ‘just for a minute’ - where they shouldn’t, or who break the speed limit– ‘just by a few miles an hour’.
But would order and reasonable behaviour on the streets and roads be kept without a police institution?
- A photograph of a police officer at a road accident.
- The paper written in 1957 by Captain Athelstan Popkess entitled Our Mounting Traffice Problems. See the notes below.
- A photograph of early plainclothes officers preparing to mount a speed trap.
- A speed camera from the early 1990s.
Captain Athelstan Popkess, a former army intelligence officer, served as chief constable of Nottingham City Police from 1930 to 1960. He was a progressive officer, keen for the police to be aware of changes in society and to employ new methods and new forms of technology.
When this document was presented in 1957, the number of licensed vehicles in Great Britain included (in thousands) 3,707 private cars, 723 ‘other’ light vehicles, 473 goods vehicles and 87 public transport vehicles. In 2005 the number of licensed vehicles in Great Britain included (in thousands) 26,208 private cars, 3,019 ‘other’ light vehicles, 433 goods vehicles and 103 public transport vehicles.
This is a long and detailed document presenting Popkess’s paper to the chief constables and a paraphrase of the debate that surrounded it. The document is probably best used with older students who are capable of reading and digesting lengthy arguments. Back
Order on the Roads