1.1 This is a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which was first published in January 2023.
2. What this Procedure is About
2.1 This SOP provides guidance on the process to be followed when dealing with speeding offences in 20 miles per hour (mph) limits and zones. The procedure is not intended to prevent police officers exercising appropriate discretion to deal with offences at any time by way of informal advice. However, the force will apply National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) guidelines on speed offence disposals in relation to all offences reported.
Compliance with this SOP and any governing policy is mandatory. 3. Detail of the SOP
3.1 The introduction of 20 mph speed restrictions and zones have become a common feature across both Kent and Medway. The designation of 20mph speed restriction areas/zones have been introduced by local authorities following consultation with elected members, local councillors, residents, and police. As the number of these areas increase it is likely that Kent Police will face increased demands for enforcement action.
3.2 Following the publication of the Department for Transport circular 1/2013, the NPCC issued national guidance on road speed limit enforcement in their document, Speed Enforcement Policy Guidelines 2011-2015: Joining Forces for Safer Roads. The principles of road speed enforcement outlined in the national approach will also apply to enforcement of designated 20 mph restricted areas.
Proportionality in applying the law and securing compliance.
Targeting of enforcement action.
Consistency of approach; and
Transparency about what enforcement action is undertaken and why.
3.3 As per the Department of Transport circular 1/2013, successful 20 mph zones and 20 mph speed limits are generally self-enforcing, i.e., the existing conditions of the road together with measures such as traffic calming or signing, publicity and information as part of the scheme, lead to a mean traffic speed compliant with the speed limit.
3.4 To achieve compliance there should be no expectation on the police to provide additional enforcement beyond their routine activity unless this has been explicitly agreed. Enforcement may be considered in all clearly posted limits, where a Traffic Regulation order is in place, given other priorities, and this will be by way of:
Targeted enforcement where there is deliberate offending or disregard of limits where those limits are clear.
Where limits are not clear (that is they don’t feel like/look like the limit or area, or are on inappropriate roads), they will not be routinely enforced (i.e., no regular planned attendance where there isn’t intelligence of deliberate offending).
3.5 Kent Police will follow a stepped approach in identifying locations for targeted enforcement.
Step 1 On receipt of multiple complaints, the following considerations are to be made:
The appropriate local Highways Authority should be made aware via the Kent Police Traffic Management Unit so that consideration can be given to a speed survey and/or enhanced engineering.
Is the area covered by the Kent Community Speedwatch scheme? If not consider creation of a local group. If there is no local community interest in start-up, then record this with the local town or parish council for their consideration. Consider the deployment of local neighbourhood policing resources to undertake a speed survey using SL700 or other appropriate handheld devices (not enforcement). Report this data the Kent Police Community Speedwatch Manager.
Surveys are to be undertaken on numerous occasions over a period of 1 month covering different days/times – if no speed issues are identified feedback is to be provided to complainant(s)
Step 2 On review of the Speedwatch or other speed survey data and observations:
Consideration of deployment of Speed Data Recorder (from Kent Police Speedwatch) to assess and collate further data (if not considered at step 1.)
Feedback to the Kent Police Traffic Management unit for dissemination to KCC Highways or Medway Highways for their review.
Consider enforcement action within the limit/zone as an exceptional case.
Where data surveys or Speedwatch activity identify persistent repeat offenders these will be passed to local Community Safety Units for appropriate and proportionate intervention.
Following the implementation of these steps a review should be undertaken as to their effectiveness and, should this not address the original concerns, referral should be made to Kent Police Traffic Management Unit for passing to the appropriate Highways Department for further engineering intervention.
4. Equality Impact Assessment
4.1 An Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out and shows the proposals in this procedure would have no potential impact or actual differential impact on grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, transgender, disability, age, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.
5. Risk Assessment
5.1 This SOP has been assessed as low risk.
Head of Roads Policing
Citizens in Policing (Speedwatch)
Traffic Management Unit
7. Monitoring and Review
7.1 This procedure will be monitored by the Speedwatch Manager in accordance with current NPCC guidelines.
7.2. This procedure will be reviewed every two years with the next review taking place in January 2025.
8. Other Source Documents
Setting local speed limits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
9.1. Kent Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy (Policy W1000 – Information Management).
10. Retention and Disposal of Records
10.1. Kent Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention and Disposal Policy (Policy W1012 – Records Review, Retention and Disposal).
Policy reference: R02g – 20mph Speed Restriction Zones Contact point: Speedwatch Manager (Citizens in Policing) Date last reviewed: January 2023
Policy reference: 20mph Speeding Offences Contact point: Head of Central Process Unit Date last reviewed: January 2023
If you require any further information or to request any documentation referenced within the policy please email [email protected]. For general enquiries, contact us.