Changing the road policing investment conversation – targeting to risk and finding tradeoffs
Keywords: Police Enforcement Programs
Submission Date: 2012
New Zealand road users pay for road policing under the hypothecated user pays transport system. Approximately $300 million per annum is appropriated from the National Land Transport Fund to NZ Police to provide a national road policing programme. In 2010, the NZ Transport Agency undertook a review of the investment in road policing. The review objectives were to improve value for money, effectiveness, performance monitoring, and road safety in line with the government?s road safety strategy, Safer Journeys. The NZ Transport Agency and NZ Police identified that road policing could be better targeted to risk, use outcomes rather than outputs, implement a Safe System approach, and align the programme to Safer Journeys. This resulted in both agencies reconsidering road safety risk and discussing how NZ Police can better target to risk with the resources and equipment available. In 2011, the NZ Transport Agency and NZ Police developed a road policing programme that focused on the contribution policing makes to road safety outcomes. It targets police activities to localities, communities, people, routes and times of greatest risk. It seeks to increase resource efficiency and effectiveness, and to provide a better understanding of the trade-offs between activities, for example restraint enforcement vs speed enforcement. The 2011/12 programme was a first step in a new conversation. As the model of investing in policing to deliver a desired set of road safety outcomes develops, challenges include: determining how technology can increase efficiency and effectiveness; deciding which enforcement activities require police officers; finding appropriate performance measures which reflect Police strengths; and adapting road policing to a Safe System and Prevention First approach. This paper will report how monitoring of road policing in New Zealand is starting to show a shift from outputs to outcomes, better financial transparency, and how well enforcement activities are targeted to risk.