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Police to be empowered to chase criminals with confidence

Published: 23 May 2018

The Home Office has launched a consultation aimed at giving police more confidence to chase down criminals, including riders without helmets.

Officers were advised last month that they should chase bike thieves without fear of ending up in court, and the consultation offers further reassurances.

Proposed changes are also intended to dispel a feeling that criminals can evade capture simply by driving recklessly.

The same legal test is currently used for careless and dangerous driving offences both for police officers and the general public.

Police officers have to rely on Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) discretion to avoid prosecution and can be suspended from duty during lengthy Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigations.

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, said: “Police officers must have the confidence to pursue suspects where it is safe to do so and criminals should be in no doubt that they will not get away with a crime by simply driving recklessly.

“Our proposed changes will make sure that skilled police drivers who follow their rigorous training are protected, while ensuring the minority of officers who do cross the line are robustly held to account.”

To smash the myth that officers cannot pursue riders who are not wearing helmets, the government will also clarify the law that a suspect is responsible for their own decision to drive dangerously and that blame should not be attached to the pursuing officer.

The Labour Party are addressing vehicle crime too

While the Tories have entered this new consultation, Labour MP Diana Johnson has made her own suggestions regarding two-wheeled crime and antisocial behaviour.

Johnson asked the House Commons to consider measures including “whether we can get all petrol stations to stop selling petrol to people who are driving motorbikes illegally and looking suspicious.”

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