Get ‘Behind the Wheel’ with West Midlands Police traffic cops

Saturday, 13th June 2015

WEST Midlands Police is giving you the unique opportunity to go ‘behind the scenes’ with their traffic unit for one night only.

On Tuesday 16 June at 6pm, the force will launch a ‘live blog’ which will follow the traffic unit over 4 hours, from 6pm to 10pm.

The team have to deal with a whole range of issues during their time ‘on shift’ including fatal accidents, dangerous vehicles and general patrols of the thousands of miles of roads across the West Midlands. The initiative aims to give viewers an insight in to those different areas.

As well as the live coverage, the site will also feature a number of ‘quick fire’ videos giving advice on everything from the ‘fatal four’ causes of crashes to how to react when you see an emergency vehicle in your rear view mirror. There is also an emotional interview with the mother of a young girl who was killed by a speeding driver.

The updates, information and advice will all be featured on the ‘Behind the Collision’ website. The force twitter account will also be part of the initiative, giving updates and linking followers through to the site. The Twitter feed will also provide the opportunity for anyone to ask the team questions throughout the evening and to comment on what is going on at any time by using the hastag #btwlive.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “Behind the Wheel will give the public an insight into the crucial work that West Midlands Police do to keep our roads safe.

“Road safety and reducing the number of people who are killed and injured on our roads are key priorities of mine. It is also crucially important that we keep the arteries of our economy, the motorways, moving freely and deny criminals the use of our roads.”

Acting Superintendent Kerry Blakeman, the officer who will be ‘fronting’ the coverage commented: “We are always keen to find new ways to really open up what we do to the public we serve so they can see the fascinating, challenging and sometimes downright bizarre situations we deal with on a daily basis.

“We never know what we’re going to find when we head out on the roads and this shift will be no different but we promise that whatever we come across, the viewers and followers will experience it right alongside us.

“We know from the amount of interest we get in our general traffic Twitter account just how much interest there is in the traffic teams and the work we carry out across the West Midlands.

“We are one of the most visible aspects of the force and people are often keen to understand more of what we do. Our overall aim is to deny criminals the use of our roads across the West Midlands and this is an amazing opportunity for the general public to see exactly how we go about that on a daily basis.”

Log on to the Behind the Wheel website from 6pm on Tuesday 16 June. The live coverage will run from 6pm to 9.30pm and there will be a live question and answer session with Supt Blakeman and his team following that.

‘Behind the Wheel’ is part of the ‘Behind the Crime’ series which takes the public behind the scenes of different teams and departments within WMP, giving them detailed insight in to the work they do. A previous blog ‘Behind the Murder’ looked at the running of a murder investigation and attracted thousands of viewers. There are more Behind the Crime blogs planned over the next few months.