1. ITV Report

Cumbria Police traffic officer numbers slashed 40%

. Photo: PA

The number of dedicated police traffic officers in Cumbria has dropped by 40% in the last ten years.

Figures obtained by the Press Association through Freedom of Information requests show a nationwide drop of 30 percent, described as "savage" by Labour's shadow minister for policing and crime.

Road traffic officers at Cumbria Police in 2007
Road traffic officers at Cumbria Police in 2012
Road traffic officers at Cumbria Police today

The AA said the decline could see more drivers getting away with crimes.

A spokesman said:

"We need more cops in cars, not fewer.

"The UK has among the safest roads in Europe, although the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads has started to rise after many years of steady decline. Maybe there is a link?"

– AA spokesman

Responding to the figures, the Home Office said effective road policing is not just dependent on dedicated traffic officers, while the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) pointed out that all officers were able to help traffic specialists.