Letter: Banning police pursuits would increase car crime

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Sir: Your leader (4 September) advocating the banning of police car chases deserves the strongest support. Five years ago I witnessed such a chase through a busy housing scheme in Scotland. The quarry, a youth in a stolen van, was driving at up to 70mph, pursued by two police cars, sirens screaming.

Going too fast to take a bend, the driver leapt from the speeding van, which mounted the pavement and ploughed into a lamp-post. The lamp-post collapsed, missing a bus shelter by about two feet. A couple of minutes before, the local bus had picked up at least a dozen people from the shelter. Two minutes sooner and a couple of feet to the left, and there would have been carnage.

As it was, the youth lay unconscious and bleeding from the head, and the police officers stood white-faced and shaken, realising no doubt that what had been fun and excitement for them had almost turned to tragedy. And all for the sake of an old rusty van.

Several bystanders remonstrated with the senior officer, but he seemed too shocked to come up with any sensible answers. I'll bet that was his last car chase.

Yours faithfully,

JOE McNALLY

Kidderminster, Worcestershire

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