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Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 12:00 GMT
Police to review accident figures
Police car
In the past five years nine people have been killed in police accidents
Police chiefs have promised to study figures showing the number of crashes involving vehicles on operational duties in a bid to reduce casualties.

Statistics showed that Scottish forces' vehicles had been involved in more than 5,000 traffic accidents in the past five years.

The figures show nine people were killed as a result of these accidents and 55 were seriously injured.

The statistics included vehicles involved in 999 calls and pursuits.

The information was obtained in response to a parliamentary question from Lib Dem MSP Margaret Smith.

Fire service and ambulance vehicles were not included in the figures.

'Obviously disturbing'

Ms Smith said: "The fact that emergency service vehicles are the cause of so many accidents and fatalities is extremely concerning.

"I have written to both the justice secretary and the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) calling for a review of the procedures used by emergency service vehicles to look into how accidents can be minimised."

Tayside Chief Constable John Vine, a spokesman for Acpos, told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme that the figures were "obviously disturbing".

"I think that any death or serious injury associated with a pursuit by an emergency vehicle is a tragedy and we would obviously want to minimise the likelihood of those accidents occurring.

"What we want to do now is carefully look at these figures and see if our procedures, which incidentally were reviewed only last year, are now adequate."

He said new procedures were introduced by forces across the country last year which meant only certain categories of police driver could be involved in pursuits.

The powers of those in the control rooms were strengthened so they could call off a pursuit if it was deemed to be dangerous.

He added: "We have already reviewed our procedures but I think in light of these figures I would be quite happy to look at them again and respond to the MSP's request as soon as we feasibly can."

Year Total accidents Fatalities Injuries
2002/3 1278 2 13
2003/4 966 0 9
2004/5 1252 1 6
2005/6 997 3 12
2006/7 938 3 15

Tayside Chief Constable John Vine on the figures

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