Posted: Friday 7 July 2017

Commissioner finds Police justified in Airdrie car pursuit


Commissioner finds police followed procedures during pursuit of car in which female passenger was seriously injured

The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has found that Police followed procedures during the pursuit of a car being driven dangerously, resulting in a female passenger suffering serious injuries.

An investigation report published today (7 July 2017) indicates the police officers were pursuing a car being driven in a dangerous manner and failing to comply with signals to stop.

The Commissioner concluded that throughout the pursuit, the marked police vehicle appears to have maintained a safe distance - a view supported by a civilian witness - and that the manner of the pursuit was consistent with Police Scotland's guidance on vehicle pursuits.

The Commissioner also found that the driver of the police vehicle was fully trained to engage in the initial stage of a police pursuit.

The 33-year-old male driver sustained non-life threatening injuries as a result of the crash in Airdrie on 16 October 2015 but his 30-year-old female passenger was seriously injured.

The incident happened when two officers in the marked police car activated their blue lights, signalling for the driver to stop. However, he failed to do so and overtook two other cars at high speed before rounding a bend and crashing into the wall of a nearby house.

Police Scotland carried out a separate criminal investigation. The driver was charged with road traffic offences and sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court on 5 July 2017 to 47 months imprisonment.

The Commissioner, Kate Frame, commented:

"The pursuit of this car, which was being driven dangerously and at excessive speed, was consistent with Police Scotland's guidance.

"The police car appears to have maintained a safe distance during the incident and the driver was trained to engage in the initial stage of a police pursuit." 

Notes to editors

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.

To read the full report, click here.

 

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