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Norfolk Police cars in more than 600 crashes in last five years

PUBLISHED: 07:32 08 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:23 08 January 2015

Scene of the collision between a police van and a taxi at the Boundary junction in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Scene of the collision between a police van and a taxi at the Boundary junction in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

Norfolk Police cars have been involved in more than 600 accidents in the last five years, new figures have revealed.

A police car on its side after an accident on Barn RoadA police car on its side after an accident on Barn Road

Data released by the force show that officers have been involved in at least 64 incidents involving high speed pursuits and emergency responses while in the line of duty since 2010.

But the figures, given to the EDP after a Freedom of Information request, also reveal hundreds of lower level incidents involving police-owned vehicles.

VIDEO: Police car crash caught on Norwich CCTV

These include 140 instances of police drivers crashing into stationary objects, 47 incidents where they hit the vehicle in front of them and 11 where they reversed into an object or vehicle.

In at least two instances, officers came unstuck as they negotiated roundabouts, while four more had prangs as they tackled U-turns.

And, embarrassingly for officers, six incidents involved two or more police vehicles colliding with each other.

Philip Goose, senior community engagement officer at Brake, the road safety charity, said Norfolk Police needs to do what it can to cut down on crashes involving its drivers.

“It is always a concern when any crash occurs on our roads, as crashes have the potential to and regularly do cause death and serious injury.

“Traffic police have a vital part to play in making our roads safer, helping to deter and catch drivers endangering others on the roads through their behaviour. Every police force has the responsibility to do everything in their power to work to reduce crashes involving their officers.”

Early last year, Suffolk Police revealed its vehicles has been involved in 135 collision in 2012/13, with three cars damaged beyond repair.

And on December 29, a civilian motorist ended up in hospital after being pursued by Suffolk Police officers in Normanston Drive in Lowestoft.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: “All officers are assessed prior to completing a basic driving course and may go on to complete response and advanced driver training if required for their role, and this is subject to regular, refresher training.

“If an officer is involved in a collision, the circumstances will always be fully investigated in line with established policies and procedures.

“There may be some circumstances where further or refresher training is recommended, with a mandatory referral to our Professional Standards Department should there be any indication of misconduct.”

What do you think of the police’s vehicle collision record? Email andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

If you have a crime story, email crime correspondent Peter Walsh on peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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