POLICE officers must feel they are fighting crime with at least one hand tied behind their backs.

They have been instructed not to go after criminals at high speeds because of problems with their high-powered BMWs.

This follows the death of a Cumbrian officer on January 26, 2020, when his car caught fire during a response to an emergency call-out on the M6.

Read more: Durham police ordered NOT to chase criminals due to 'problems' with their BMWs

That’s exactly two years ago, and a Durham police whistle-blower has approached the Echo to express the frustrations of officers who want to crack on with their job, a job they are highly trained to do, and a job that the public values immensely.

The public needs to know that the police have all the tools they need to apprehend the most dangerous criminals and to take them off the streets, and yet police policy is that BMWs should be driven “conservatively”. If a suspect drives at a speed in excess of 70mph, they are not to be chased.

Read more: Durham Police 'problem' with BMWs is reported across the UK

This is an issue which has to be highlighted – you can’t have criminals being allowed to make a clean getaway – as there are questions that need to be answered. Is it a matter of resources, which politicians can be badgered to fix? Why is it taking so long – surely the “review” should be swiftly concluded and action taken so that local people are no longer left with their guard down.

As North Durham MP Kevan Jones said: “Having police cars that can't purse criminals is pointless.”

It needs to be resolved – and at the speed of an emergency vehicle responding to a 999 call rather than a BMW being driven conservatively.


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