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Police officer drove car at 140mph after prisoner he was transporting asked how fast the high-performance vehicle would go

25 January 2014

  • Durham Police driver discussed his powerful BMW with criminal passenger;
  •  Source said the pair spoke about its top speed and Pc said: 'I'll show you';
  •  Prisoner taken into custody where he told staff about speeding officer;
  • Unnamed Pc 'has been moved permanently from roads policing duties'

If the prisoner was trying to wind up the police officer who was driving him to a custody cell 50 miles away, he succeeded – spectacularly.

For after being repeatedly asked how fast the high-performance police car would go, PC Barry Evans put his foot down – and drove at speeds of up to 140mph.

But when he delivered the suspect to their destination, the prisoner reported him to the desk officer.

Now PC Evans has been stripped of driving duties and a row has broken out after senior officers said he would not be prosecuted despite the offence ordinarily carrying a driving ban.

The constable from Durham Police was driving the prisoner, who had been arrested on suspicion of theft, from Leeds back to Darlington in a marked police BMW 330.

A source said: ‘The conversation turned to the vehicle they were travelling in. Apparently the prisoner asked how fast it would go and the officer said something along the lines of, “I’ll show you”, or, “Let’s see”.

As soon as they got back to Darlington, the prisoner proceeded to tell the officer at the custody desk just how fast they had been going.’

Road safety campaigners condemned the decision not to prosecute. The law allows police, ambulance and fire service drivers to exceed the speed limit, but only in emergencies.

Joe Burns, from the charity Brake, said: ‘Driving at very high speeds on public roads poses a horrendous danger, so anyone caught driving in this reckless way should face appropriately stiff penalties.’

Yesterday Supt Darren Ellis, head of professional standards at Durham Police, said the officer had been removed from road policing. He added: ‘After a thorough internal investigation the force has taken appropriate action.

‘The officer was an advanced and highly skilled police driver and there was no suggestion the vehicle was driven dangerously at any time. The officer’s conduct prior to the incident had been exemplary.’

He will not return to full operational duties until it is deemed appropriate.

The case had also been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for consideration.

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