The Chair of the Authority, Judge Doherty says: “We worked extensively with Police from 2017 on Fleeing Driver matters and released a collaborative review of events, practices and procedures on 15 March 2019:/Site/publications-and-media/2019-reports-on-investigations/2019-mar-15-fleeing-driver-joint-thematic-review.aspx. This report endorsed the policy approach at the time to fleeing events and highlighted eight recommendations to enhance Police understanding and application of the policy, including changes to the way fleeing driver events are handled, the training given to officers and the way events are recorded and investigated. Police worked through those recommendations, and we have continued to monitor Police’s progress in this area.
We note the drop in fleeing driver related deaths since that report in 2019, and the policy changes that Police already undertook in December 2020. It is correct that the recorded fleeing driver incidents have increased, partly due to a change in reporting requirements and the fact that ALL incidents where drivers fail to stop for Police and flee and/are now recorded, whether or not Police actually pursue. This is a significant change to how events were being recorded prior to 2019.
Police have consulted us about the proposed revision of the Fleeing Driver policy, and we continue to engage with Police to work through these proposed changes. We are focussed on ensuring any changes are appropriate and do not result in additional risks to the safety of the public, Police and those in vehicles which fail to stop for Police. We are also concerned to ensure that any policy change is properly communicated, officers receive thorough training, and a monitoring regime is implemented to ensure practice adheres to expectations.”