Police Officers need to ensure they only drive up to the level to which they are trained

Officers need to ensure they only drive up to the level to which they are trained – and ensure their training is up-to-date – Hampshire Police Federation has said.

Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, issued the warning to ensure officers don’t fall foul of changes to legislation designed to support them.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was enshrined in law last year gave police drivers greater legal protection. The law now takes into account the high standards of training received by police drivers, which means their driving will no longer be judged to the same standard of the careful and competent driving member of the public.

However, any manoeuvre performed must be within their training, and officers must be up to date with their training, the Federation has warned.

Zoë said: “This is really important. All Chief Constables were sent a letter about this [from PFEW Pursuits and Driver Training Lead Tim Rogers] and I have gone through it with our chief constable and we are compliant with everything in terms of driver training. Officers just need to always ensure that their training is up to date and they are only driving to the level that they are trained to.”

Tim Rogers wrote: “It is critically important that police officers do not drive if they are not licensed under this legislation. There is no movement on this whatsoever. Senior police officers, regardless of rank, cannot extend or grant an officer’s permit under any circumstances. Additionally, PFEW is deeply concerned some forces are opting for non-accredited instructors, which is putting officers at risk.

“It is imperative officers’ driver training is delivered by a driver trainer who has been licensed by the College of Policing, and their driving schools are compliant with the licensing requirements of the new law. Training delivered by a non-licensed person is invalid and will leave officers in a vulnerable position. This is a generational change for policing; one that improves confidence for both officers and the public.”

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