Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pursuits continued

Finally managed to read through the bulk of the IPCC pursuits review.

Shockingly, most of it actually makes sense. It mostly calls for the existing guidelines to be more consistently and properly adhered to- i.e. only advanced drivers should pursue etc; fit data recorders to cars (something I wholeheartedly agree with); and a whole load of stuff to do with reporting it when it goes wrong.

The recommendation that did have me shaking my head is number 13- namely that if there are no tactical options available, there should be no pursuit.

And here lies the problem. My force no longer has TPAC- we (the drivers) are not trained in it, and it is not authorised. Apparently, it is felt it poses too much of a risk to the suspect. Therefore the only tactical option we have is Stinger.

Only traffic officers have stinger.

Last set of nights I was on, there was one traffic car across the whole district.

The end result is that despite me being an advanced driver, I effectively still cannot pursue. I have no tactical option available- and so according to the IPCC I should therefore not engage in the first place. (I tend to anyway of course, and usually end up waiting for them to crash whilst the traffic car comes from miles away, correctly second guesses which road they're going to go down, and then successfully deploy. Haven't seen it happen for a while.)

And of course, Stinger won't work on run flat tyres. Anyone else see that 5th gear show where a BMW went round their racetrack on flat run-flat tyres, and was only a few seconds slower than the properly inflated ones?

It frustrates me my force doesn't allow TPAC. A glance at the IPCC report shows the majority of pursuits happen at night. Empty roads work for TPAC, even in the suburbs. Top brass seem to wring their hands at the thought of even a suspect in a vehicle pursuit getting injured as the result of police action, and so once again the "rights" of a suspect outweigh the rights of everyone else to have a dangerous scumbag put somewhere where he can't do anyone any harm.

Which I think is what really hacks me off. I've mentioned before about the one character- a prolific burglar, I might add- on our ground who shows off how he will never stop for police, how he knows our tactics (or lack of) and knows he just has to drive as dangerously (I'm talking red lights at 70+) as he can and we'll call it off. What I'd do to be able to knock him off the road in the first few seconds of a pursuit, just to see his face.

I can but happily daydream.