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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 18:57 GMT
Police cars have sirens removed
Police siren
Police sirens could be heard less on the streets of Kent
Kent Police is removing sirens from some of its vehicles to cut high speed accidents on the way to emergencies.

It means officers with smaller cars and only basic driving instruction will not be involved in high speed pursuits.

A spokesman said the familiar sound of the police siren will still be heard but "probably less frequently".

Sirens will remain in "higher class vehicles properly equipped for high speed pursuits" and they will only be driven by specially trained officers.

Safe pursuits

Assistant Chief Constable David Ainsworth said: "We will be taking the sirens out of some of the police cars, the lower standard of police cars that are not equipped for high speed driving, but they will still have the blue lights attached.

"We want to actually reduce the number of police-related accidents so we are looking at less people trained to a higher standard to do these pursuits safely."

Roger Vincent, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, commented: "We would be interested to see if it improves safety.

"We've said for a long time that nothing should be done to compromise safety on the roads just to get to an emergency, otherwise that is counterproductive," he added.


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