High speed chase unnecessary

Here we have a police Ford Explorer in a four-hour cross-country high speed chase from Walkers road to East End, causing an accident involving a third vehicle on Smith Road which resulted in minor injuries to two police officers. (Man arrested following police chase, 11 May, Caymanian Compass).

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of driving with no license, driving with no insurance, taking and driving a vehicle away without consent, dangerous driving, failing to stop for a police officer and fleeing the scene of an accident.

The chase began at about 2pm on Walkers road and ended at 5.45pm in East End. These people chased each other across our island through numerous school zones at a time when school would have let out on a crowded two-way street.

A few weeks ago two policemen were killed in Anguilla when they crashed their vehicle into a wall in front of the police station. Surely we have been through this already. Are we prepared to allow the police to endanger innocent lives on our narrow, congested roads just to satisfy a testosterone high?

Perhaps the Commissioner will inform us as to just what type of training his officers have undergone in high speed chases, how often are they retrained and practiced in defensive driving and what guidelines are relevant when the decision is made to engage in hot pursuit on our roads.

Are the people who insure the police vehicles prepared to pay for loss of innocent life when one of their vehicles is involved? Will we wait until people are killed and there is public outrage before we put a few limits on our police officers engaging in hot pursuit on our roads?

Was this man suspected of any crime warranting his immediate arrest in order to preserve the public safety?

To obtain cooperation and respect from members of the public the RCIP must be seen to be a responsible group of individuals with humility, self-control and wisdom, not an out-of-control arrogant force who are unable to differentiate between a traffic offender and a more dangerous perpetrator who has to be immediately apprehended in the public interest.

In my humble opinion not even a suspected bank robber warrants such a hazardous chase.

Victor Look Loy

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