Outcry over Police in T V Car Chase Stunt; Force Condemned for 'Using Officers as Extras'

Daily Mail (London), April 15, 2009 | Go to article overview

Outcry over Police in T V Car Chase Stunt; Force Condemned for 'Using Officers as Extras'


Byline: Fay Schlesinger

POLICE chiefs were under fire last night for staging a mock car chase for a 'cops and robbers' TV show.

Presenter Natalie Pinkham, pretending to be a thief taking a 180mph Lamborghini sports car, was pursued by officers in two 150mph patrol cars for the Channel Five series Police Interceptors.

Programme makers confirmed that officers broke the speed limit and used the blue lights on their [pounds sterling]30,000 cars 'once or twice'.

The police teams gave 30-year-old Miss Pinkham a 20-minute start, then trailed her using a tracker device on her car.

In all, the chase lasted for around an hour.

Road safety campaigners questioned whether drivers and pedestrians had been exposed to unnecessary risks while other critics condemned the exercise as a waste of taxpayer-funded resources.

Katie Shephard of the road safety charity Brake said: 'The police need to consider whether it's vital to be speeding, and whether they should be putting on their blue lights for a training exercise..

Perhaps they could have done it on tracks, where there is no risk to pedestrians.' Mark Wallace of the Taxpayers' Alliance said: 'It's concerning that Essex Police seem to think their officers and valuable cars can be spared for use as film extras.

'The force seems to have been sucked in by the glow of the limelight rather than getting on with their job of protecting the public.' Even police officers were furious.

One said: 'Most people in the job are appalled. …

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