Pursuing suspects potential rule change – Diane Abbott responds
Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the government’s attempt to change the law on police pursuing suspects, said:
“This is a very worrying development. No-one is above the law and in this country we operate through policing by consent. Removing police officers from investigation if their driving has been reckless threatens to undermine both of these key principles of policing in this country, with potentially very negative consequences.
“It is not clear at all on what evidence this proposed change is based. The Home Secretary has not made the argument about lawful police pursuits which have been abandoned, or about police officers unnecessarily investigated. Instead, this looks like a desperate election day gambit from a shambolic and deeply unpopular government.”
Notes to editors
The Independent Office for Police Conduct said only two officers were prosecuted for pursuit-related offences and none were convicted over a five-year period involving nearly 100 independent investigations into death or serious injury caused by crashes involving police vehicles. The spokesperson added officers are “entitled to use force that is reasonable and proportionate to the circumstances”.
There were 17 police pursuit-related incidents that resulted in 17 fatalities pp8-9, https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/statistics/deaths_during_following_police_contact_201718.pdf