Police pursuit "justified" as man hurt in van chase crash

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Police were "justified" in engaging in a chase which ended with a van crashing down a hillside in Perthshire, an independent investigation has ruled.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) said officers acted "professionally" during the three-mile pursuit.

A 52-year-old man was taken to hospital after the crash.

He had been found in the back of the van after it skidded off the A85 and rolled down a steep hill.

The man has since been charged with drink driving and other road offences.

The pursuit began just after 22:00 on Wednesday, 5 February, when a member of the public reported a navy blue van being driven erratically on the A85 in Perth.

Officers said the van accelerated away when a marked police vehicle gave chase on Atholl Street, with blue lights and sirens activated.

Lost control

The pursuit stretched over three miles, reaching speeds of 40mph.

The vehicle's driver appeared to lose control while negotiating a sharp left-hand turn on the outskirts of the city, and crashed off the road.

The van was seen balancing on the verge above the embankment before overturning and rolling down the hill. It is thought the van flipped several times before coming to rest upright.

Ambulance crews took the man to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and he was later released and charged with road traffic offences.

Police Scotland referred the matter to the Pirc for an independent probe into the handling of the incident.

Pirc investigators interviewed police officers and staff, visited the crash scene, and combed through CCTV footage, audio recordings, incident logs and police databases.

Commissioner Prof John McNeill said he was "satisfied that all staff involved in the incident behaved in a professional manner and that their actions were professional and justified".

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