Traffic police are being given "points" in accordance with who they manage to pull over.

Thames Valley Police's road's policing department has given its 120 officers "aide-memoire cards".

The cards show a chart apportioning different points for catching different offenders.

Their monthly target, also on the cards, is 200 points.

Under the revised priority system, in action since the start of April, officers get ten points for stopping a rapist, a drink-driver or a robber.

Meanwhile, they get five points for pulling over someone not wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone at the wheel.

The highest number of points available for traffic officers is 50, achievable only when "taking the lead role at a fatal accident".

A force spokeswoman said Thames Valley's roads-policing department was the only one in Britain currently using the aidememoire cards system.

"It's very popular. It's designed to help officers prioritise their workload," she said.

She added: "If you arrest a burglar it's ten points, a disqualified driver is ten points, a drink-driver or a robber is also ten points. It's five for criminal damage, three for defective lights and 50 for taking the lead role at a fatal accident."

Two points are scored for an illegal immigrant, shoplifter, someone breaching bail conditions, a mentallyill person or a pedestrian on the motorway.

Seatbelt, mobile phone and Tacograph offences, criminal damage, harassment or public order offences are worth five points.

Ten points are awarded for assault, abduction, offensive weapon, rape, threats to kill, forgery or drugs.

Superintendent Mick Doyle, head of roads policing, said in a statement: "Every week, in Thames Valley, three people die on our roads. The performance system enables stretched officers to prioritise their work.

"The system reflects the importance of offences that are the main causes of death on our roads.

"The department also makes a contribution toward tackling crime in the Thames Valley, although the police areas and criminal investigation departments obviously take the lead on such issues."