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3 February 2020
The current roads policing legislation “leaves officers vulnerable in the application of their duties”, Greater Manchester Police Federation has said.
There was much discussion of the problems surrounding police pursuits at last week’s PFEW Roads Policing Conference.
The current legislation doesn’t take into account officers’ high level of specialised training and they are instead measured against the general public.
Last year the Home Office proposed a new legal test to give police drivers greater confidence to pursue suspects but new laws have yet to be passed.
Neil Clarke, of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: “The Home Office’s proposal is welcome, but significant investment is required, given the dramatic effects austerity has had on roads policing. You can’t prevent the criminal use of the road network with cameras alone.We
“I know how much work the Federation has done in pushing this forward, but unfortunately Brexit and the General Election further delayed the process.”
Neil said that the Federation had been campaigning for more than 12 years for officers’ specialist skills and training to be taken into account.
He continued: “There have sadly been many cases where members have been prosecuted. The current legislation leaves officers vulnerable in the application of their duties. Despite CPS guidance issued to the then IOPC, officers were prosecuted and the guidance ignored, taking no account of the officers’ training or skills.
“Roads policing has more risk associated to it than many other portfolios in policing. Only a change in legislation could provide the confidence and reassurance to protect our members.”