AN MP has described Durham Police’s decision not to prosecute an officer who drove at 140mph as “incredible” as calls continue for the PC to be charged.
PC Barry Evans was reported for speeding on a non-emergency job by the prisoner he was transporting between Leeds and Darlington, and although he was disciplined and removed from road policing duties, he escaped prosecution.
Darlington MP Jenny Chapman said she assumed if it had been established the officer had reached speeds of up to 140mph then a criminal prosecution would inevitably follow, and if that did not happen it sent out the wrong message.
Ms Chapman said: “The police need to deal with this in a way that garners public confidence because if they don’t it will look as if the police are protecting their own.
“This is a situation that I know the Police and Crime Commissioner will not want to tolerate.
“Driving at such high speeds is dangerous no matter how highly skilled you might be; you are on a public road with other drivers who may not share your level of skill.”
Ms Chapman said that public confidence in the police has been shaken following recent high profile scandals and it was up to forces across the country to win that confidence back.
She added: “Silly judgements like this, misjudgements like this, can only make the situation worse.”
Durham Constabulary referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner over its handling of the case after The Northern Echo revealed the matter on Friday.
The prisoner made a complaint about the officer's speed when the pair arrived at the custody suite at Darlington police station.
An internal misconduct hearing did take place after PC Evans was first reported as speeding but the force decided against prosecuting him and described him as “a highly skilled driver”, saying the car was "not driven dangerously".
There was no-one available from Durham Police for further comment over the weekend.
Were you the prisoner who reported the officer? Call the newsdesk on 01325-505065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.