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West Midlands Police Federation

West Midlands Police Federation contact details

Police drivers' consultation - message from Tim Rogers

2 August 2018

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A campaign is underway to get legislation changed, to ensure that officers who engage in pursuit and response drives can be afforded better protection.

The current legislation leaves police drivers vulnerable as it is technically illegal to engage in pursuit or response drives.  This is because there are no exemptions in the current legislation that take into account the high level of specialised training officers are given. According to the law, ‘dangerous driving’ includes speeding, ignoring traffics signals, or overtaking dangerously.  There can also be liability for causing others to drive dangerously.

Officers who have engaged in pursuits or response drivers have, in the past, been charged with dangerous driving, even if no complaints were made, and no one was injured.  So even though police drivers are trained to the College of Policing standard, this standard is not supported by the current law.

In support and response to the Police Federation’s Protect The Protectors campaign to change the law, the government launched a consultation on establishing a new driving standard of a 'careful and competent police driver'.

Please respond to the consultation by midday on 13 August.

Tim Rogers, West Midlands deputy secretary, national representative and pursuits lead, says: "The consultation is a firm commitment from Government to change the current flawed legislation. They have listened to our evidence and agreed that the law needs to change.

"While I agree with much of what is suggested - most are our suggestions - the consultation is just that, a discussion document and a vehicle by which we can ensure that what we end up with is appropriate for all police drivers. It is fair to say that we have been consistent with the solution, simplistically that officers require an appropriate exemption from the current common standard driving given appropriate circumstances. Do we need a new higher standard? I see why this is a consideration but will be steering the Government away from this and towards the logical exemption route.

"I feel positive that change will come and I am committed to ensuring that this is the best possible option for the police and public alike."