Police vehicle crash figures revealed
A POLICE vehicle is involved in a road accident nearly every other day in Suffolk on average, it has emerged.Between April 2005 and the end of March this year, there were 178 collisions involving Suffolk police vehicles.
By Danielle Nuttall
A POLICE vehicle is involved in a road accident nearly every other day in Suffolk on average, it has emerged.
Between April 2005 and the end of March this year, there were 178 collisions involving Suffolk police vehicles.
The figure was revealed following a crash in Ipswich involving a police car and a Skoda Felicia on
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Tuesday, which left two officers and a civilian injured.
And last night another police car was involved in a collision with a vehicle on Norwich Road in Ipswich, at the junction with Highfield Approach, sparking another investigation.
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The accident on Tuesday occurred at 10.10pm at the junction of Landseer Road and Hogarth Road as the police car was responding to a grade one incident.
Superintendent Tim Beach, of Suffolk police, said the experienced driver of the police car tried to take avoiding action but the vehicle hit the Skoda before colliding with a telegraph pole.
The 54-year-old male driver of the Skoda and two male police officers, aged 33 and 45, were taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment.
The 33-year-old officer who was driving the car was released from hospital having suffered minor injuries while the civilian driver and the 45-year-old officer remained in hospital overnight for observation.
Police confirmed last night that the civilian motorist had been discharged from hospital at 10am yesterday after being treated for minor injuries.
The officer who was a passenger in the police car remains in Ipswich Hospital where he is undergoing further tests for back injuries.
The police car was responding to a report of a burglary in Ravenswood Avenue where a suspect had been seen on the premises.
An investigation has now been launched by Suffolk Constabulary's Professional Standards Department.
Following a request by the East Anglian Daily Times, Suffolk Constabulary revealed yesterday there had been 178 collisions involving police vehicles in the last year - almost one every two days.
It said two-thirds of these collisions were minor incidents with no third party involvement. However, the collisions led to six injuries to police officers, one of which was the fatality of Pc Cheryl Lloyd. There was also one serious injury and four minor injuries. No members of the public were injured in the collisions.
During the past six years, there have been almost 1,000 collisions involving Suffolk police vehicles.
Supt Beach said: “Police officers are trained to drive defensively. While they may have to drive at speed to carry out their duty, in all cases they are there to make sure they do not put other road users' lives at risk. That's the single most important thing.
“Given the number of response calls for urgent assistance, you have to see that the number of accidents - and given that no members of the public were injured - shows officers take the utmost caution.”
All collisions involving police vehicles are investigated internally and the most serious are referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Supt Beach said the driver of the police car involved in Tuesday's collision is trained to an advanced standard.
“The police car was responding to a grade one emergency in the town centre at the time and although it tried to take avoiding action it nevertheless collided with the other vehicle and hit a telegraph pole,” he said.
“It is being investigated by trained collision experts under the supervision of the professional standards department.”
Last night's accident happened at 5.03pm and it is believed the officers involved were responding to a grade two incident, which means they would have been on blue lights.
No one was hurt as a result but police are appealing for witnesses and have said the collision will be subject to a full investigation.
Anyone who witnessed the accidents are asked to call Acting Sergeant Brian Scanlan at Suffolk roads policing unit on 01473 613500 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.