The Independent Police Complaints Commission disclosed that 40 people died in police-related traffic accidents in the past 12 months, up from 24 the year before.Now, no-one wants to see a bunch of criminals escape because the police are instructed to go ‘softly softly’ (and I’d like to see those figures split into true victims and those who initiated the chase by committing a crime in the first place), but the rise in innocent bystanders mown down by cars on a shout is unacceptable, and needs to be curbed. Most can be monitored from a safe distance, or by air.
The watchdog called for a nationwide policy on pursuits to be implemented urgently. They first raised concerns two years ago that the pursuit policy can differ from region to region and was confusing both for the public and officers alike.
The commission also called for police motorcycle chases to be stopped except in "exceptional" cases.
The IPCC is right to bring that message home – chases should be restricted only to true life and death situations, where the risk of leaving fleeing drivers is greater than the immediate prospect of mowing down a passerby on a crowded street.
On the other hand, if the suspect is a middle-aged woman who has committed the grievous offence of parking in a bus lane, then it’s to hell with the rule book and GO GO GO!:
Chris Tarrant’s former wife Ingrid has been convicted of resisting arrest – after she was chased for two miles and wrestled to the ground by police in a row over a parking ticket.Mental. Yes. Nothing to do with a member of the public being rude to you, I suppose?
Mrs Tarrant, 54, had been ‘abrupt and rude’ with an officer who tried to issue her with the ticket for leaving her Saab parked at a bus stop, a court heard.
The policeman, who said he feared she had ‘mental health issues’, was astounded when she suddenly leapt into her car and drove off, despite repeatedly being asked to stop.
Was a chase necessary? You had her number, I assume?
He then followed her in his van for two miles before eventually stopping her on a country lane, wrestling her to the ground and handcuffing her./golfclap.
People can walk the streets of Cobham, safe from mouthy middle aged women, when PC Groves is around!
PC Groves told the court: ‘I was not sure why the whole incident had taken place at all over the minor parking matter. I did not know what I was dealing with.Because if you give a cop a bit of lip, you are obviously mad?
‘I was concerned that the car was stolen or the person had been drinking or if there were mental health issues. I was getting no response.’
You know, the police might have fewer PR problems if, when questioned in the media and court, they didn’t make you long for the warm, empathetic, proportionate service of Robocop or Judge Dredd instead….