Statistics from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) show there were 42 police related road deaths in England and Wales during 2018/19 – 13 more than the year before.

Nearly three quarters (30) were as a result of police pursuit-related incidents – of which 20 were either the driver or passenger in the pursued vehicle.

A further 10 were in an unrelated vehicle or were a pedestrian hit by the car being pursued.

Five deaths came from emergency response incidents.

The IOPC, which investigates incidents and allegations involving the police, says police officers should take into account the risks to the public when undertaking a pursuit.

Michael Lockwood, IOPC director general, said: “The increase in pursuit-related deaths this year points to a continued need for ongoing scrutiny of this area of policing.

“Police drivers need to be able to pursue suspects and respond quickly to emergency calls as part of their duty, but it’s not without risk.

“This includes risks not only for the police and the driver of any pursued vehicle, but for passengers, bystanders and other road users.

“Pursued drivers bear responsibility for their own actions but police officers should also take into account risks to the public and only undertake a pursuit where it is safe to do so, and where authorised.”

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