PFNI backs Consultation on change in law governing police pursuits
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland has welcomed a Government Consultation on proposals to changes to the law governing police pursuits.
Mark Lindsay, Chair, Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI), said: “We welcome this development and look forward to its smooth passage into legislation.
“We would want to see precisely the same protection given to our officers in Northern Ireland. They need to know that they will not be penalised for the efforts they make to apprehend wrong-doers.
“For too long, there has been something of a grey area for officers when it comes to pursuits and the steps now set out by the Home Secretary will give direction, clarity as well as the necessary legislative cover.
“Unfortunately, we will have to wait until we have a restored Executive and Assembly before similar legislation can be enacted in Northern Ireland. On that basis, we may end up seeing officers in England and Wales given added protection while their counterparts here are left behind. This would be regrettable, but without functioning devolved structures, it’s difficult to see how there could be any other outcome.
“The government isn’t entirely powerless to act, although it may not wish to employ a Direct Rule Order in Council to effect a change. The Police Federation for Northern Ireland will explore the limited legislative options that may be available to ensure that our officers are treated the same as their colleagues in England and Wales.”