The national Federation’s pursuits driving lead has welcomed the support of the Government for the campaign to change the law to give police drivers better protection from prosecution.
Tim Rogers, who is also deputy secretary of West Midlands Police Federation, has led the long-fought campaign for legislative change to recognise police drivers’ skills and expertise when doing the job they are trained to do.
Now, after years of campaigning, the Queen’s Speech in December included the Police Powers and Protections Bill which, in addition to a number of other measures, will bring about the change to the law the Federation has sought.
Tim said: “Cross-party support for a change to legislation means that we will no longer be judged against the careful and competent driver that is the expected standard of drivers.
“But then we don’t expect your average ‘careful and competent driver’ to be going through red lights, crossing the carriageway or exceeding the speed limit to get to an emergency call.
“All too often police drivers have found themselves facing months, and sometimes years, of legal and conduct proceedings simply for doing their job.”
“I am grateful for the support received from the Department for Transport, the Home Office and Her Majesty’s Government in making this significant progress.”
The success of the campaign is set to be highlighted at the Federation’s 14th annual Roads Policing Conference in Kenilworth today and tomorrow (28 and 29 January).
Cambridgeshire Police Federation will be represented at the conference by workplace representative Mike Smith.
The conference will bring together a range of speakers who work in or have specialist knowledge of aspects of roads policing, with talks, panels and break-out sessions. It will highlight successes, challenges and best industry practice, and cover a wide range of roads policing topics including use of drones, consistency in driver training and SMART motorways.
Tim, who will be one of the speakers at the conference, has also called for more to be done to protect officer safety on the roads.
He says that all too many officers are being killed or injured by offenders using their vehicle as a weapon. Now, he is urging the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) to create a national solution to the problem.
“I am keen to ensure we look at officer safety in more detail,” he said. “Too many officers are getting killed or seriously injured by people prepared to use a vehicle as a weapon.
“We are training people to the point that we stop the vehicle, tactical contact, boxing, TPAC and so on, but have nothing by way of tactics for officers once they are out of the vehicle.
“We need the NPCC to mandate a consistent national solution.”
Tim has also raised the question of a dedicated roads policing force similar to the British Transport Police.
He says that such a force could come out of the Government review of roads policing.
Tim said: “The review has eight key strands and marks a huge step for roads policing and a massive opportunity to improve things since the Government seems to be conceding the 10 years of cuts have impacted on our ability to keep our roads safe.”