Police chase deaths ‘need action’


Police car UKoriginally published: 16th July 2009

A mandatory police pursuit policy should be adopted to combat rising numbers of people killed in car chases, says the police overseer, the IPCC.

Forty people died in 2008-09, up from 24 the previous year, the Independent Police Complaints Commission reports. It says different chase policies are adopted by different forces, causing confusion for the public and making officers’ actions hard to evaluate.

The call came as the IPCC issued its annual report. The report also revealed a drop in the number of people who died in police custody in 2008-09, from 22 to 15. It also said there had been a 30% rise in the number of complaints made to the IPCC, to nearly 15,000.

New guidelines

The IPCC says that over the last two years it has been working with the policing community to agree a national policy for police officers engaged in pursuits.

Guidelines have been agreed, but until they become law, says the IPCC’s Tom Davies, “individual forces will continue to work to their wide range of policies.

“This means police officers can be using different policies to colleagues from another force who police the same road 100 yards further along,” he said.

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