R V Bannister – Of what relevance is this case to the emergency services?

October 15, 2009

Forgive us if our interpretation of this case is incorrect, but the law now appears to suggest that in relation to the offence of dangerous driving the experience and qualifications of the driver are irrelevant and the jury will never know of these facts.

Picture this. A young in service probationer is in a vehicle, and is going to their first intruder on premises during the early hours where there was good intelligence that the offence was real and it was say, 0300 hours. All of a sudden the officer is reaching speeds around 60 through a 40 carefully, where the road is clear but they hit some water causing the car to overturn, and hit a tree.

Dangerous driving? There are no injuries to anyone else but the vehicle is written off. It is irrelevant to the offence of dangerous driving as to the officer’s experience or LACK OF IT. They could be found guilty of dangerous driving. Oo-er. THIS COULD ALSO HAPPEN TO AN EXPERIENCED BOBBY.

Now, let’s say the offenders had been detained and the officer was de-assigned, and chose to still make their way, and crashed exactly as in the scenario given; this may give cause for more a push towards dangerous driving. One officer has already been sent down. What next?

The Law Lords are indeed asses.


  1. So, police officers are paid to police, and that means attending jobs where someone’s life could be at risk, “the prevention of crime and protection of life is a core role,” now we just have to worry about whether, when we get there, someone will have us for dangerous driving.

  2. Personally, I think the Lords got it right.

    You have a vehicle travelling like a meteor down the pike in pouring rain, for a mere property offence?

    It would be a different story if someone was being assaulted, or some similar circumstance, but the risks involved just do not compute for this type of offence.

    quod erat demonstrandum

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