Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth police car chase 'put people at risk'

PC James Holden
Image caption The prosecution say PC Holden should have stopped the pursuit

A highly trained police patrol officer involved in chasing a stolen van through Portsmouth put innocent people at risk, a court has been told.

PC James Holden denies one charge of dangerous driving brought following a review of the incident by senior colleagues within the Hampshire force.

Guildford Crown Court was told how he followed a stolen van in his police patrol vehicle in February last year.

The van crashed through a railway barrier in Cosham before being stopped.

PC Holden, from Fratton, did not cross the railway line and the stolen van was stopped by another police patrol on the other side.

Wrong way

The court heard that all police car pursuits are reviewed by senior officers and in PC Holden's case they judged he made a number of very serious errors, and that those errors put lives and properties at risk.

The jury was shown footage of the chase taken with a camera fitted inside PC Holden's vehicle.

It showed the stolen van being driven at speed, through several red lights and the wrong way along a section of dual carriageway.

The prosecution said PC Holden's training should have made him realise that the pursuit was becoming far too dangerous and he should have stopped it.

The trial continues.

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