I believe that police officers should be able to drive effectively in emergency situations and keep the public safe while ensuring that our roads remain among the safest in the world. I agree that protecting police officers when they have to drive in a way as to reach a crime scene rapidly or to peruse and bring to justice a suspected criminal, is an important issue.
I welcome the fact that the Government recognises that officers drive in this way to protect the public and strongly supports action to make sure that the law provides the necessary protection to enable them to carry out this vital work with confidence.
The Home Office has been working with the Police Federation, the National Police Chiefs Council and others to review the law, guidance and practice in this area. As you may be aware, the Government announced a consultation on a proposal which would see officers' driving judged against the standard of other officers of a similar level of skill and experience, rather than members of the public.
In addition, the consultation also proposes that the law should be clear in that those being perused are responsible for their own driving decisions and seeks views on whether these reforms should apply only to pursuits or to all police emergency driving.
The consultation closes on 13 August and I would encourage you to take part. The Government will publish a response in the autumn outlining the next steps towards the delivery of these reforms. As such, I don't believe now is the right time to legislate in this area through the Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) Bill.