Police car clocked at 138mph in 50mph limit while in pursuit of suspect on A140 at Coddenham

Police (stock image)

Police (stock image) - Credit: citizenside.com

A Suffolk police car was clocked doing 138mph - nearly three times the speed limit - on the A140 at Coddenham while in pursuit of a suspect, it has emerged.

The vehicle triggered the road’s fixed speed camera and may be the highest speed ever recorded in Suffolk.

Although Suffolk Constabulary sent itself a letter of intended prosecution no action will be taken as the officer involved was a highly-trained driver in pursuit of a suspect and his actions were deemed justifiable, a police spokesman has said.

The incident was revealed after figures were released following a Freedom of Information request showing the highest speed recorded in Suffolk this year was nearly 140mph.

The drama began at around 8.50pm on January 3 when the officer was in a high-performance marked police car which was in a layby next to the carriageway in the Stonham area.

He was passed by a Mini Cooper travelling towards the A14 at around 45-50mph in a 30mph zone.

The officer followed the car for around 200 yards at a speed between 40-45mph.

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After passing the A1120 junction the police car’s blue lights were activated and the officer flashed his vehicle’s headlights signalling the Mini to stop.

The vehicle pulled over with the police car pulling up behind.

However, when the officer got out the driver of the Mini Cooper pulled away.

The officer returned to his vehicle and set off in pursuit at around 50mph.

The driver of the Mini managed to put distance between him and the police vehicle.

When the officer got to the dual carriageway section which heads down towards the Beacon Hill Services he accelerated.

Tim Cracknell, a Suffolk Constabulary spokesman, said the visibility was good, and by this time the road in front of the officer’s vehicle was quiet.

When he passed the fixed speed camera his speed was recorded at 138mph.

Despite this the officer had lost track of the Mini, believing it to have turned on to the A14 towards Ipswich.

The car was registered in Essex. Although police alerted their counterparts in Essex suspecting it had been heading for the A12 at Copdock it was not located.

Subsequently the Mini Cooper was found burnt out in Essex and was discovered to have had false plates.

There is no restriction on the speed at which a police car can travel.

Mr Cracknell said each officer must take individual responsibility for his or her speed and actions. They must also justify what they have done to their supervisors.

Mr Cracknell added the officer involved was in constant contact during the incident with Suffolk Constabulary control room, telling staff what he was doing.

Afterwards he had to make a written statement about each stage of the pursuit in which he had to state why he made the decisions he made.

Mr Cracknell said the officer’s supervisor had to scrutinise the statement and it was assessed the policeman was justified in what he did.

There will be no prosecution for speeding.

Police figures show the highest speeds caught by cameras in Suffolk over the past four years are 118mph in 2011, 129mph in 2012, 123mph in 2013 and 119mph in 2014.