90 days from today is Fri, 19 April 2019
23 May 2018
It’s difficult to comprehend that legal driving protection is not already in place for police officers, the Police Federation of England and Wales Conference heard.
Delegates at this year’s PFEW Conference in Birmingham were given a vote on what they would do should the Emergency Response Drivers Bill fail to be added to the statute books.
73% said they would not pursue, 25% said they would pursue as a ‘careful and competent’ driver while 2% said they would pursue regardless.
The result represents the precarious position police and other emergency drivers currently find themselves in while the proposed Emergency Response Drivers’ Bill goes through the Parliamentary process.
The Protect the Protectors panel at the conference included MPs Holly Lynch, Chris Bryant and Philip Davies all of whom have offered ‘great support’ in trying to get the law changed.
They reacted to an announcement from Policing Minister Nick Hurd which confirmed that the law would be updated.
“Changes will make sure skilled police drivers who follow their rigorous training are protected while ensuring the minority of officers who do cross the line are held to account,” he said.
Currently police drivers face the same legal test for careless or dangerous driving as members of the public.
MP Philip Davies told conference that they should be able to rely on MPs to make laws to help keep them protected.
“It’s difficult to comprehend that driving protection is not already in place,” he said.
“Your (officers) job is to protect the public which I know you are fantastic at.
“The least you can expect from us as MPs is to protect you in doing that job.”
PFEW Pursuits Lead Tim Rogers told conference that he hoped MPs would help keep the issue alive and called on the government to issue guidelines to drivers while the bill went through the parliamentary process.
West Yorkshire Chief Constable Dee Collins told delegates: “It’s our job to protect the public and to make split second decisions on how best to do that every single day.
“Officers and police drivers will always have my support and backing for the decisions they have to make.”