Nottingham

Officer warned over van pursuit in Nottingham

A Nottinghamshire police sergeant who pinned a suspect against railings with his van after a chase has been given a written warning.

He had followed the car in Nottingham in February 2009 when the driver ran off, chased by other police officers.

The IPCC said the sergeant mounted the pavement and pinned the suspect against metal railings fracturing his pelvis.

Nottinghamshire Police referred the incident to the IPCC and the man also lodged a complaint.

The IPCC said the sergeant drove the marked Mercedes Sprinter across both carriageways of the road before mounting the pavement.

It said that its investigation found that the sergeant should not have tried to chase the car as it was against force policy and the van was not suitable for a pursuit.

A spokeswoman said he was not sufficiently trained or authorised to carry out the pursuit.

The watchdog also said a control room operator failed to apply force policy on vehicle pursuits.

'Over zealous'

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided the sergeant had no criminal case to answer, but he received a written warning from the force for undertaking an inappropriate and unacceptable manoeuvre.

The control room operator was to receive management action for failing to follow procedures but this had been discontinued due to welfare issues, the IPCC spokeswoman said.

The suspect driving the car was later given a suspended prison sentence after being convicted of driving with excess alcohol, driving while uninsured, driving while disqualified, driving without due care and attention and possession of an offensive weapon.

IPCC Commissioner Amerdeep Somal said: "There was legitimate reason for police to attempt to stop this damaged vehicle and apprehend the driver.

"I can sympathise with a police officer having to make a snap decision in a dynamic situation and having a healthy determination to prevent a suspect running off.

"However, in this case the manner in which the officer achieved this was at best over-zealous and has resulted in serious injury.

"It was fortunate the outcome of the collision was not worse.

"There were other better-suited police units available to undertake a pursuit as necessary, and the suspect would probably have been caught on foot by officers getting out of the van had it just pulled over."

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