Positive steps to better protect police drivers

25 September 2017

Police cars

A significant step has been taken in the Federation’s campaign to seek better protection for police pursuit drivers after the Home Office announced a review of the law and guidance surrounding police pursuits and response driving.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd outlined that the review will involve the Department for Transport, the Department of Health, the Attorney General’s Office and the IPCC, as well as the relevant National Policing Leads, the Police Federation, representatives of the other emergency services and groups representing other road users.

The announcement follows a prolonged and on-going campaign by the Police Federation for a change in legislation around emergency response driving and forms part of the ‘Protect the Protectors’ campaign.

Tim Rogers, pursuits lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Momentum has been gathering in recent months and this marks a significant step in bringing about the change we feel is necessary.”

Mr Rogers has previously outlined how the current exemptions designed to enable modern policing to remain effective are vastly outdated, some dating back to the 1970’s, and offer no protection for officers facing careless or dangerous driving charges.

He said: “Trained professionals are being judged by the same standards as a member of the public in any normal driving situation with no differentiation in law to recognise the professional training emergency response drivers undertake.”

The recent spike in moped related crime has been sighted as a key factor for the review. The Federation has been clear how this is a good example of how exposed officers are with offenders exploiting the vulnerability that exists for officers to be prosecuted under current legislation.

Mr Rogers added: “We have been fully engaged with partners including the Home Office, College of Policing and National Roads Policing leads, as well as MPs, to push for the change. There is light on the horizon and we won’t let up in our efforts to better protect our members in the face of the dangerous role they perform to keep us all safe.”