Police Federation

Police drivers to get greater protection in law

11 February 2021

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

Police drivers will be afforded long overdue legal protections as part of a bill which is expected to become law later this year.

The recently renamed Protection of the Police and Public, Courts and Sentencing Bill will incorporate a number of key demands that the Federation have been campaigning for over a number of years, from a Police Covenant to expanding Taser, increasing the maximum sentence for assaults on emergency workers and Specials being permitted to join the Federation.

However, one of the biggest wins is around police driver protections, as our lead for driver training and pursuits, Tim Rogers explains.

"As the law stands, police officers can be prosecuted if they drive outside of norms for a typical driver. We’ve seen too many officers facing years of conduct or criminal investigation for dangerous driving when in reality they had been using their skills and training to do the job they were asked to do. This has now been addressed and the new bill introduces a new test for police drivers."

Once the bill becomes law as expected this Autumn, officers will be regarded as driving dangerously only if:

  • The way they drive falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful constable who has undertaken the prescribed training; or
    It would be obvious to such a competent and careful constable that driving in that way would be dangerous.
  • The tasks for the Federation now, is to push for consistency in force policy around the country so that officers are not inadvertly exposed to the risk of prosecution.

Tim adds: “All police drivers will have to drive and perform tactics exactly as they have been trained. Your average motorist probably never drives exactly as they did on their test but that is not an option for police drivers.

“The training is there for a reason. Driving a car at speed or contrary to any road signs or restrictions in place comes at a risk and that risk is only mitigated by officers following their training to the letter.”

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