A total of 128 officers have been injured in collisions in police vehicles in South Yorkshire over the last four years, new figures reveal.
South Yorkshire Police has released figures under The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign, which show that, last year, 24 officers were injured in collisions on the county’s roads.
In 2012 the figure stood at 33, in 2011 it was 30 – and in 2010 some 41 officers were injured.
Over the same period five Police Community Support Officers and one Special Constable were injured in collisions.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The force has a driver training policy to a nationally approved standard.
“The force’s driving policy is very specific and detailed.
“The fundamental principle is that officers are trained to use exemptions – exceed speed limits and contravene red lights – when it is necessary and only as far as is deemed reasonable in the circumstances.”
The spokesman added: “There is no exemption for dangerous driving and officers remain accountable for their driving at all times.
“Officers are also subject to periodic retraining, again to a national standard.
“The force also has a driving standards panel which reviews any collision involving a police vehicle, or reported near-misses.
“This was introduced two years ago to reduce the number of serious collisions, and officers have undergone additional training as a result of minor or non-injury collisions.”
Neil Bowles, chair of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said: “One must take these figures in the context that the South Yorkshire Police fleet covers an average 11 million miles a year.
“With that amount of mileage road traffic collisions are an occupational hazard - but every injury causes concern.
“If you compare this rate against other occupations or individuals I would say it shows police drivers are excellently trained and drive in a professional manner.”
Police injuries in numbers:
The number of officers, specials and PCSOs injured in 2010 - 43
The number of officers, specials and PCSOs injured in 2011 - 32
The number of officers, specials and PCSOs injured in 2012 - 33
The number of officers, specials and PCSOs injured in 2013 - 26