In India, the traffic Police officers usually stand (sometimes hiding) on roads to catch people who don't wear helmets or persons who violate any of the traffic rules. The places don't change much. One can always expect the officers to be standing there to catch the drivers.

I'd like to know if there is a word which captures the meaning of such a place.

The closest words which I could think of are hunting ground or patrolling area. But patrol usually means roaming around in a particular locality.

An example:

It was no surprise when he got caught while driving without having a licence on Lavelle Road. It's the _________ for the police.

It needn't be a word which specifically denotes the places where police stand. It can also be a word where you can always find a person available.

  • ..."a hunting ground" would fit very well.
    – JeffUK
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 11:10

4 Answers 4


In the United States, people often use the term speed trap to describe a place where police officers station their vehicles with RADAR to catch cars exceeding the maximum speed limit, which is the most frequent moving traffic violation in the United States by far.

From Merriam-Webster:

a stretch of road policed by often concealed officers or devices (such as radar) so as to catch speeders

However, because the officers can and will pull someone over for any traffic violation they witness, a speed trap in the United States can refer to the sort of location you are describing, and could fit in the blank in the example sentence you used.

It was no surprise when he got caught while driving without having a licence on Lavelle Road. It's a speed trap for the police.

  • Does speed trap also imply that you can always find the policemen in that place? Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 9:30

The general term would be checkpoint. It is called random checkpoint also and there are different types of police checkpoints like sobriety checkpoint and fugitive roadblock. (There are other types like military checkpoints and designated checkpoints like border checkpoints as well).

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia, Random Checkpoint article:

Patrol car-equipped police units regularly use random checkpoints to detect drivers who are suspected of impaired driving. Police also use hastily set up roadblocks to check cars and car trunks when they are pursuing an armed and dangerous fugitive.

Another term that can be used is police trap but it can also include the technology (like radar systems or camera) to detect lawbreakers.

A means or arrangement employed by police for detecting or apprehending lawbreakers; (now) especially an arrangement used for detecting motorists who exceed a speed limit. OD

By the way, hunting ground is a police/criminology term also and it is defined in the book Police Problem Solving (By Quint Thurman, J.D. Jamieson) as:

range and areas of criminal search


It's the lookout for the police.

A place from which to keep watch or view the landscape.

"a signal station used as a lookout during the Napoleonic Wars"

Google Dictionary

a. orig. Naut. A location or building from which a watch is kept; a position used as a dedicated vantage point.


The [Ngram] for 'lookout point' goes back to 1850 which is the time of the Crimean War.


Ambush or ambuscade, however this is a more archaic word, while ambush suggests violence, ambushment would also apply (an act or instance of lying concealed so as to attack by surprise).

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