Police officers cautioned for high-speed pursuit

Updated: 
Closeup of police car sign with video unit vehicle in background.
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Two police officers have been disciplined for speeding, following a high-speed pursuit in Northern Ireland.

They were found to have been travelling at 81mph through a 30mph zone in an unmarked police car. They had also failed to activate either the car's sirens or lights.

The officers were attempting to pursue a vehicle that was later involved in a crash that killed a female passenger. It was found by the Police Ombudsman that there was no link between the police car's speed and the woman's death.

The driver of the car in which the woman was killed later pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving with excess alcohol. This led to him being sentenced to three years in jail and a five-year driving ban.

The police officers noticed a Renault Clio perform a handbrake turn in the village of Feeny. They gave chase but reportedly abandoned the pursuit given the speed that the Renault was travelling at.

The police driver stated that he lost sight of the Clio not far from Feeny.

However, footage captured on CCTV suggested that there was a 12-second gap between the two cars just before the crash happened.

Officers are required to inform the police control room when a car fails to stop and to seek permission to purse. The police driver in question, along with another officer in the car, failed to do this.

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire told the BBC: "In this case, it should have been obvious that driving at this speed, through a small built up town, without either emergency blue warning lights or sirens, would have been far below the standard expected of a police officer."