London borough officers have written to the mayor’s office to express concern about the deteriorating quality of road accident collision data provided by the Metropolitan Police.
The issue is highlighted in a letter sent last month by Mark Frost, head of traffic & transport at the London Borough of Hounslow, and chair of the London Technical Advisors Group (Group 1), to Rebecca Lawrence of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.
Said Frost: “Since the Metropolitan Police introduced a new input database in November 2016, borough engineers have noticed a reduction in data and data quality in respect to collision information sent to them via Transport for London.
“It seems that previously the Met had a designated team who would process collision data but it has now been disbanded and police officers are recording their own collision records electronically via COPA, the Case Overview and Preparation Application.”
Frost says boroughs are now receiving records “with no description of how the collision occurred”.
“This makes it near-on impossible to identify patterns in the collision data or within clusters of collisions. Poor data quality is impacting on the level of analysis boroughs can undertake, making it harder to prioritise and plan our programmes, or to design effective remedial measures.
“Also, because the data is very delayed it is affecting reporting of annual and quarterly targets in a timely manner.”
Frost says injury severity reporting has also changed. “The criteria for severity categorisation has been altered in such a way that more collisions than in previous years are now being classed as a serious injury where before they would have been recorded as slight injury. This means, going forward, producing meaningful data comparisons with previous years and the tracking of year-on-year trends will be extremely difficult.”
Frost told LTT he was hoping a representative from the Metropolitan Police would attend the next LoTAG Group 1 meeting on 11 July to discuss the matters with borough representatives.
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