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  1. ITV Report

Why changing rules on police pursuits could help tackle moped crime

Rules on police pursuits are to be overhauled following warnings that they may be undermining efforts to tackle criminals on mopeds and motorcycles.

Rank-and-file leaders have warned that officers could find themselves in court over high-speed chases as they can be prosecuted for dangerous or careless driving in the same way as any other motorist.

Under Government proposals laws surrounding the offences will be tweaked to recognise police drivers' high level of training.

The shake-up also aims to smash the "myth" that officers cannot pursue riders who are not wearing helmets.

People must be able to go about their daily lives without fear of harassment or attack and criminals must not think they can get away with a crime by riding or driving in a certain way or on a certain type of vehicle.

Our proposed changes will make sure that skilled police drivers who follow their rigorous training are protected, while ensuring the minority of officers who do cross the line are robustly held to account.

– Nick Hurd, Policing Minister

All emergency services, including police, are exempt from speed limit, traffic light and sign violations when on a 999 response.

But, under the current law, the same legal test for careless and dangerous driving offences is applied to police officers and the general public.

Police have raised concerns that officers have to rely on prosecutors' discretion to avoid criminal charges, and face lengthy watchdog investigations and suspension from duty, only to be cleared eventually.