Commissioner finds Police justified in Airdrie car pursuit

Around six thirty on the morning of Friday 16 October 2015, two police officers in a marked police car were involved in the pursuit of a car in Airdrie that had failed to stop when signalled to do so by the activation of the police vehicle's blue lights and siren.

The car overtook two other cars at high speed and continued to pull away from the police vehicle before rounding a bend. After negotiating this bend the officers found that the car had crashed into the wall of a nearby house. The male driver had sustained non-life threatening injuries but his female passenger was seriously injured. She remains in hospital. The driver has since been charged with road traffic offences.

As the road traffic collision occurred following contact with the police, Police Scotland referred the matter to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner in terms of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013.

During the subsequent investigation, investigators visited the scene of the incident, examined police audio recordings, reviewed relevant documents and procedures, inspected the police vehicle, and obtained statements of police officers and civilian witnesses.

Following examination of the available evidence the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner concluded that:

Police officers were pursuing a car that was being driven in a dangerous manner and that was failing to comply with signals to stop. During the course of the pursuit the police vehicle appears to have maintained a safe distance from the pursued car. This is supported by the evidence of a civilian witness.

The manner of the pursuit was consistent with Police Scotland's guidance on vehicle pursuits and the driver of the police vehicle was trained to engage in the initial stage of a police pursuit.

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