London

Figures show Met Police driver crashes increasing

The scene of the collision
Image caption A woman died and a man was injured after their car crashed during a police pursuit in west London on Tuesday

The number of crashes involving Met Police drivers responding to an emergency or pursuing a suspect vehicle has increased.

There were 1,748 crashes in 2015-16, rising from 1,649 the previous year and 1,492 in 2013-14, figures from London mayor Sadiq Khan's office revealed.

Officers pursuing vehicles were in 498 crashes in the past year, compared to 434 and 474 in the two previous years.

Met Police said it "continues to strive" to reduce such crashes.

The figures for three financial years were released in response to a written question to the mayor from Conservative London Assembly member Steve O'Connell.

'Worrying trend'

Mr O'Connell said: "The safety of both police officers and the general public has to be the highest priority during high-speed pursuits and responses.

"Clearly there is a need for police vehicles to drive at high speeds in emergency situations, but it is a worrying trend to see an increase in the number of collisions and one that must be reversed."

Met Police crashes

256

more crashes in 2015-16 than 2013-14

  • 1,748 crashes in 2015-16

  • 1,492 crashes in 2013-14

  • 498 crashes in 2015-16 where officers were pursuing vehicles

PA

The Met Police said: "The MPS continues to strive to reduce incidents resulting from pursuits and has a strict pursuit policy in line with nationally-approved tactics.

"All pursuits are controlled on a dedicated radio channel with tactical advisors to ensure any pursuits are brought to a safe conclusion or [subject to] pre-emptive tactics to stop pursuits happening in the first place."

The force said minor damage is recorded as a "pursuit incident" but added "new tactics and pursuit training has been developed and is currently being rolled out".

On Tuesday, a woman in her 20s died in a west London crash following a police pursuit by officers investigating reports of a drone being flown near Wandsworth prison in south London.

The driver of the car was also left in a critical condition in the crash.

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