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Commissioner ‘concerned’ by police crashes

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A spate of crashes involving police cars and bikes is “concerning”, Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said yesterday.

Mr Corbishley added that a review of the service's driver training programme had been launched.

He said the review would look at several areas, including how police respond to incidents and if it was necessary for vehicles to use emergency blue lights for every call.

Mr Corbishley said: “There's meetings going on at the moment with the driver trainers to have them involved in the process, in relation to areas we can improve.”

But Mr Corbishley insisted the string of crashes was not evidence of a crisis in the police.

He said: “I'm not at a point where I am going to turn around and suggest the service is in crisis. It's not.

“We take driving police vehicles very professionally and we have very, very experienced officers.”

He added all the crashes involving police officers were under investigation.

Mr Corbishley said: “To reassure the public, those are being investigated thoroughly and will be transparently presented in due course.

“We are taking the matters seriously, and each investigation is being properly addressed.”

Mr Corbishley was speaking after several recent collisions involving police vehicles and members of the public.

Antoine Seaman, 21, from Southampton, was killed when his motorcycle collided with a police car on Somerset Road, Sandys, on April 15.

The BPS paid $19,000 to fly a 36-year-old American woman tourist to the US for medical treatment after she was badly injured when she was struck by a police motorcycle on Burnaby Street in Hamilton on June 17.

A 29-year-old Royal Bermuda Regiment soldier was injured when her motorcycle and a police car crashed at the junction of King Street and Reid Street, in Hamilton, on May 12.

There have also been other less serious crashes.

A police motorcycle and a private car were in collision yesterday at about 7.25am on North Shore Road, near Penhurst Park, Smith's.

And an unmarked police car was in collision with a taxi at Stone Crusher Corner, on Kindley Field Road, St George's, last Thursday night.

Mr Corbishley said that it was difficult to say what had led to the rise in collisions involving police and that the conditions that had led to the crashes had to be examined.

He added: “When those facts are established, that's the time to start drawing some conclusions.

“That's the time to actually understand what's taken place.”

Mr Corbishley said that police officers were responsible for their driving and riding.

But he added: “I'm not one who blames people without actual facts. I'm not one who places repercussions on people until I know facts.

“At a point when we actually know the facts, then we can make judgment in regards to responsibility.”

Mr Corbishley said that it was often easy to jump to conclusions about crashes.

But he added: “Sometimes some of the optics are not in line with the reality of what's taken place.”

Mr Corbishley said the most important thing was that the police continued to provide a “first-class service”.

Taking matters seriously: police commissioner Stephen Corbishley (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 25, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated June 25, 2019 at 8:18 am)

Commissioner ‘concerned’ by police crashes

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