29 January 2019
Louise Haigh MP and Shadow Minster of State for Policing today called for a change in the law to better protect police officers involved in driving pursuits. Unable to attend our Roads Policing Conference today in person, she addressed attendees in a pre-recorded video.
Ms Haigh said: “I know many of you feel under threat for doing your job. You fear that you may end up in court for pursuing suspects and those posing a risk to the public.
“The police can never and should never be above the law. But I believe the law needs to be urgently clarified because at the moment it risks officers being criminalised for doing your duty, a duty that the public and that we as politicians ask you to do."
She continued: “With highly specialised training and often years of experience in tactical pursuit we ask you to put yourselves in dangerous situations because we want to see suspects caught. You shouldn't be criminalised for it. That's why I'm determined to see a change in the law. You shouldn't be compared to an ordinary member of the public with no specialist driving training or experience. The standard you're driving to should be held in law as the standard your training has prepared you for - that of a competent police driver.
The Police Federation has been campaigning for seven years to bring about a change in legislation - that currently can see police officers prosecuted for doing their job - and despite support from both the Conservative and Labour parties, progress to bring about positive change has been painfully slow.
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