MP describes decision not to prosecute 140mph police officer as "incredible"

Darlington and Stockton Times: Darlington MP Jenny Chapman says the police must work to restore public confidence Darlington MP Jenny Chapman says the police must work to restore public confidence

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 newsdesk@nne.co.uk.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:09am Mon 27 Jan 14

SirLance says...

The laws of the country apply to one and all! there can be no exceptions! This sort of 'protective' decisions by 'the enforcers' destroys public confidence in the Police! Months of good relations work gone in a heartbeat! Book him for speeding! Justice is due here! Even if only 'seen to be done'!
The laws of the country apply to one and all! there can be no exceptions! This sort of 'protective' decisions by 'the enforcers' destroys public confidence in the Police! Months of good relations work gone in a heartbeat! Book him for speeding! Justice is due here! Even if only 'seen to be done'! SirLance
  • Score: 12

8:13am Mon 27 Jan 14

Madadrian says...

It may be incredibls but the law allowing it was passed by the Thatcher government and allowed to continue. Prior to Thatcher the police only had much the same powers as the public in breaking the law as a necessity in the prevention of a greater crime.

There have been plenty of cases where a police officer has been charged in similar circumstances only for the case to be dismissed. He was on police business so he could drive as fast as he liked. That is the law.

The problem is and has been for decades that MPs don't know what the law they are making is
It may be incredibls but the law allowing it was passed by the Thatcher government and allowed to continue. Prior to Thatcher the police only had much the same powers as the public in breaking the law as a necessity in the prevention of a greater crime. There have been plenty of cases where a police officer has been charged in similar circumstances only for the case to be dismissed. He was on police business so he could drive as fast as he liked. That is the law. The problem is and has been for decades that MPs don't know what the law they are making is Madadrian
  • Score: -7

9:01am Mon 27 Jan 14

Homshaw1 says...

My understanding of employment law is that an employer is only responsible for the actions of his employee if he is acting as instructed. If he drives at 140 mph when there is no need to do so the employer has no responsibility for his actions. So where does that leave anyone he may have killed or badly injured?

If he made a genuine mistake while doing what he should be doing that is fine and he should have our full support. At the point he goes at 140 mph for no reason it's legalised TWOCing
My understanding of employment law is that an employer is only responsible for the actions of his employee if he is acting as instructed. If he drives at 140 mph when there is no need to do so the employer has no responsibility for his actions. So where does that leave anyone he may have killed or badly injured? If he made a genuine mistake while doing what he should be doing that is fine and he should have our full support. At the point he goes at 140 mph for no reason it's legalised TWOCing Homshaw1
  • Score: -4

11:25am Mon 27 Jan 14

jackjones13 says...

When I saw this on the news they said the officer was highly skilled and had an exemplary working history, so one mistake and he's up for public execution? Surely that's not right? I find it hard to believe that this Jenny Chapman and any other MP (ha ha) has not made a single mistake in their career!
When I saw this on the news they said the officer was highly skilled and had an exemplary working history, so one mistake and he's up for public execution? Surely that's not right? I find it hard to believe that this Jenny Chapman and any other MP (ha ha) has not made a single mistake in their career! jackjones13
  • Score: -3

12:00pm Mon 27 Jan 14

glyn says...

jackjones13 wrote:
When I saw this on the news they said the officer was highly skilled and had an exemplary working history, so one mistake and he's up for public execution? Surely that's not right? I find it hard to believe that this Jenny Chapman and any other MP (ha ha) has not made a single mistake in their career!
One mistake?????????????
?? He deliberately drove at 140mph to show off to a prisoner, not because he was on an emergency call, late or even felt threatened. Because the PRISONER asked how fast will it go? Has he sped before and not been reported? Sorry but as I've stated elsewhere, I have a lot of time the police, they do an impossible job BUT 140mph to show off????
[quote][p][bold]jackjones13[/bold] wrote: When I saw this on the news they said the officer was highly skilled and had an exemplary working history, so one mistake and he's up for public execution? Surely that's not right? I find it hard to believe that this Jenny Chapman and any other MP (ha ha) has not made a single mistake in their career![/p][/quote]One mistake????????????? ?? He deliberately drove at 140mph to show off to a prisoner, not because he was on an emergency call, late or even felt threatened. Because the PRISONER asked how fast will it go? Has he sped before and not been reported? Sorry but as I've stated elsewhere, I have a lot of time the police, they do an impossible job BUT 140mph to show off???? glyn
  • Score: 1

12:23pm Mon 27 Jan 14

jackjones13 says...

well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves
well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves jackjones13
  • Score: -2

12:31pm Mon 27 Jan 14

loan_star says...

jackjones13 wrote:
well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves
I bet theres thousands of people with exemplary working history without points on their licences who would get points for going slightly over the limit without chance of appeal. If this officer wasnt on an emergency then he should be brought to task for it, just like any other person should be.
[quote][p][bold]jackjones13[/bold] wrote: well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves[/p][/quote]I bet theres thousands of people with exemplary working history without points on their licences who would get points for going slightly over the limit without chance of appeal. If this officer wasnt on an emergency then he should be brought to task for it, just like any other person should be. loan_star
  • Score: 3

12:31pm Mon 27 Jan 14

loan_star says...

jackjones13 wrote:
well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves
I bet theres thousands of people with exemplary working history without points on their licences who would get points for going slightly over the limit without chance of appeal. If this officer wasnt on an emergency then he should be brought to task for it, just like any other person should be.
[quote][p][bold]jackjones13[/bold] wrote: well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves[/p][/quote]I bet theres thousands of people with exemplary working history without points on their licences who would get points for going slightly over the limit without chance of appeal. If this officer wasnt on an emergency then he should be brought to task for it, just like any other person should be. loan_star
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Homshaw1 says...

jackjones13 wrote:
well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves
So should other people driving at 140 mph be given a second chance?
[quote][p][bold]jackjones13[/bold] wrote: well I'm not normally one for second chances but if you google this officer the only other thing that comes up is a Northern Echo story in 2008 telling of how he saved a colleagues life, couple this with his apparently exemplary work history... just find it hypocritical that MPs take the high ground when its matters not concerning themselves[/p][/quote]So should other people driving at 140 mph be given a second chance? Homshaw1
  • Score: 3

5:44pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Basilizzyfawlty says...

The passenger, whether a prisoner or not, has a right to be transported safely, with a competent driver, at a speed within the speed limit. We once reported a driver, when we were on holiday. He drove at excessive speeds, illegal in that country, and terrified us. He may have felt safe, we didn't. Surely every driver, particularly a policeman,has a duty of care to his passengers.
The passenger, whether a prisoner or not, has a right to be transported safely, with a competent driver, at a speed within the speed limit. We once reported a driver, when we were on holiday. He drove at excessive speeds, illegal in that country, and terrified us. He may have felt safe, we didn't. Surely every driver, particularly a policeman,has a duty of care to his passengers. Basilizzyfawlty
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree