The Isle of Wight Coroner says she fears Islanders might feel they are getting a 'second-rate' standard when it comes to the specialist policing of our roads.

Caroline Sumeray has added her views to an ongoing debate about whether the Isle of Wight should have a team based here, in the same way that it used to.

A campaign is being led by the Isle of Wight's MP and Bob Seely is among those who has written to Police & Crime Commissioner Donna Jones.

He said: "Road traffic incidents are indiscriminate, dangerous and often tragic; reminding drivers of a strong police presence along the Island’s roads could reinforce safe driving habits and the creation of a Specialised Roads Policing unit would be timely and potentially life-saving.

"Many Islanders agree that they feel less safe on Island roads.

"I continue to receive correspondence from concerned constituents about dangerous driving, high speeds and noise related issues caused by illegal exhausts. A specialist RPU would go some way to ameliorating these issues. I am asking you to seriously consider the need for a dedicated Roads Policing Unit on the Isle of Wight."

Last week, Hampshire Constabulary said it had no current plans for such a dedicated unit but it was 'actively considering options to develop the capability.'

It also reaffirmed the force's commitment to ensuring road safety.

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A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson said there is different level of demand on the Island and no motorways.

Mrs Sumeray says while she understands that, she believes further training and a dedicated RPU team is required.

She sent a letter to Hampshire Constabulary's Chief Constable, Olivia Pinkney, on April 7 2021.

In it, she said she was concerned that officers with specialities like armed response, were expected to carry out road policing responsibilities without the same training in the areas that their mainland colleagues receive.

Mrs Sumeray said: "In my view… this could allow the public to believe that they are getting a second-rate standard of Roads Traffic Policing compared to that which is available in Hampshire which cannot be right or fair.”

"It is disappointing to read that these Officers have asked to receive this more specialist training (to accord with their duties) in line with their Hampshire colleagues, but that this has been refused by Hampshire Constabulary.

"I struggle to understand how it can be justified for those Officers who carry out their duties on the Isle of Wight to not be trained to the same high standard as their colleagues in the rest of Hampshire – which, it goes without saying, is the same Police Force."

Isle of Wight County Press:

In December, the MP and the Leader of the Isle of Wight Council joined forces to call for the return of specialist officers.

Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox and Mr Seely said: "We feel dangerous driving is increasingly becoming a problem, along with related issues such as illegal exhausts. We are both receiving regular emails from Island residents and parish and town councils complaining about the dangerous driving of an irresponsible minority.

"One of the reasons why we are getting more complaints - across the Island - may be because we have not had a dedicated Road Policing Unit for some time. Our Road Policing Unit is rolled in with the Island’s armed response team, which spends much of its time supporting serious operations. Road Policing Units perform a valuable role not only in identifying dangerous driving, but also in education and cracking down on disqualified drivers.

"We are of course grateful that teams come over from the mainland Hants. & IW Force to support us, but it is not the same as our own force on the Island. Now that our policing levels are increasing on the Island, we ask you to give serious consideration to the need for a dedicated Road Policing Unit on the Isle of Wight.”

Figures from the House of Commons Library showed, in 2020, the Isle of Wight had the highest rate across Great Britain and outside of London for people killed or seriously injured in road accidents.

Around six years ago, the Island had a specialist Roads Policing Unit. However it merged with the armed unit and eventually being disbanded.