Momentum rising for a change in pursuits law
Monday, 20 November 2017
Tim Rogers, lead on police pursuits for the Police Federation of England and Wales, discusses new developments in the campaign to change drivers legislation.
Since September strong progress has been made in our continued drive for change in legislation to better protect police drivers.
Currently the law leaves emergency response drivers open to prosecution because it fails to recognise the professional training officers undertake to carry out their duties. However after years of campaigning we have now reached some agreed actions with those able to make the long overdue changes.
We have secured agreement from the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Crown Prosecution Service, Department for Transport, IPCC and also the NPCC that a change in legislation is required in order to rectify the legislative flaw currently faced by our officers.
Following this agreement, the Policing Minister- Nick Hurd requested that this work be started by a joint NPCC and Federation submission to the Home Office to articulate what was required by the legislative change.
In early October this was delivered, the focus no doubt assisted by the swell in coverage for the motorcycle enabled crime and subsequent pressure on Government regarding tactics and a reluctance for officers to engage two wheeled criminality.
Disturbing increases in motorcycle facilitated crime around the country particularly in the Metropolitan Police area and the Midlands hit the headlines which all added to the momentum. Further reinforcement appeared with some “positive rhetoric” from the Home Secretary at the joint NPCC / APCC Summit stating that the “review” would be completed in the New Year. Still, positive rhetoric or not officers remain vulnerable until the legislation changes and we need to inform members of the ongoing risks.
It’s clear that ministers on both sides of the house see this as a problem in need of urgent remedy. Offers of support have come direct with a number of decent meetings attended in October. This aided greatly by a secondary plan led by Henry Bellingham (Con Norfolk ) of a Private Members Bill on December 19th.
It’s fair to conclude that the last two months have been significant and I see a defining change on the horizon.