Scotland

Officers not trained for pursuit of stolen car

Police vehicles Image copyright George Clerk/Getty

Police officers pursuing a stolen car that was involved in a high speed crash were not authorised to do so, the police watchdog has ruled.

The pursuit between two villages in North Lanarkshire ended when the stolen Skoda crashed.

The man driving the car was badly injured and the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) was asked to investigate the incident.

The watchdog ruled the officers were not trained to engage in the pursuit.

Police had been responding to reports of a drunk man stealing a car in the village of Cleland in the early hours of 22 November 2018.

They spotted the car at a roundabout, which then sped off when the officers put on the marked police car's blue lights.

'Hit crash barrier'

Officers pursued the Skoda for about a mile before it hit a crash barrier, left the road and rolled upside down in Newmains.

The man, who required hospital treatment, was later charged and convicted over the incident.

However, the PIRC report found that one of the pursuing police officers told the area control room that he was a "standard driver", meaning he was trained to engage in a vehicle pursuit.

It later emerged that the officer was in fact a "basic driver", meaning he was not trained to engage in a pursuit.

PIRC recommended to Police Scotland that the two officers involved in the incident receive refresher driver training.

Image copyright JG Shields/Getty

The watchdog also published details of another incident in Fife where officers missed the chance to arrest a man for breaking bail conditions that prevented him from making contact with a woman.

The woman later reported that the 34-year-old man assaulted her during a domestic incident just hours after his release from custody for another matter.

The incident resulted in the woman suffering a serious injury.

PIRC made a number of recommendations to police, including that officers be reminded of the requirement to ensure that bail and other checks are completed before arrested persons are released from custody.