Officers should not have chased stolen vehicle

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A report by the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has found officers who pursued a stolen car before it was involved in a high speed collision were not trained or authorised to do so.

The one mile pursuit, which took place in the early hours of Thursday, November 22, between Cleland and Newmains, ended when the car hit a crash barrier, leaving the road and rolling upside down.

The driver was seriously injured and required hospital treatment.

The PIRC report has recommended to Police Scotland that the two officers involved in the incident receive refresher driver training, with a particular emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of vehicle pursuits.

About 3.12am on the day in question, Police Scotland received a report that a Skoda had been stolen in Wishaw by a man who was reported to be drunk.

About 3.28am two officers were on patrol in a marked police car on the A73 Glasgow/Carlisle Road, Bellside, Cleland, when they saw the Skoda car stationary at a roundabout.

The officers activated the emergency blue lights of the police vehicle indicating to the driver to stop.

However, the stolen car was driven off at high speed southwards towards Newmains. The officers then followed the stolen car with the emergency blue lights of their police vehicle activated.

The driver of the Skoda lost control and was involved in a collision on Westwood Road at the roundabout with McCarrison Road, Newmains.

The car collided with a crash barrier, left the road, rolled upside down and was extensively damaged. The driver of the stolen car was trapped inside and freed by Fire Service personnel. He was then taken to hospital by ambulance, having sustained serious injuries in the crash.

The PIRC report found that one of the officers told the Area Control Room, in error, that he was a ‘standard driver’, meaning he was trained to engage in a vehicle pursuit.

The officer was actually a ‘basic driver’, meaning he was not trained to engage in a pursuit.

PIRC will require an update on action taken to implement the recommendations within three months.