Number: D2000
Date Published: 10 September 2020
Version 7 – September 2020

1.0 Summary of Changes

This policy has been updated, adding in a new paragraph within section 3 clarifying that the use of any police vehicle, at any time, must be both lawful and ethical.

2.0 What this Policy is About

This policy and its associated procedures detail the approach taken by Essex Police and Kent Police regarding the selection and training of staff for the purpose of driving police vehicles or any other vehicle connected with their duty.

The policy should be read in conjunction with the associated procedures/SOPs.
Compliance with this policy and any linked procedures is mandatory.

3.0 Statement of Policy

Essex Police and Kent Police are committed to making the Counties of Essex and Kent a safer place with a clear objective aimed at targeting driver behaviour to provide a safer road network enabling the community to use the roads with confidence, by reducing incidents of death and serious injury.

This commitment includes a positive obligation to ensure that the police officers and staff employed by Essex Police and Kent Police set the highest standards of driver behaviour reducing the risks associated with driving vehicles in the course of their employment. All police officers and staff should work towards the aims of this policy and the associated procedures/SOPs.

There are significant individual and organisational risks associated with the use of vehicles and this policy, associated procedures/SOPs and risk assessment provide clear guidance and instruction regarding the use of vehicles within the working environment supported by an effective management process to ensure that all members of staff meet their obligations.

The driving of vehicles is at the forefront of the professional skills which officers and staff must ensure are maintained during the course of their duties.
Essex Police and Kent Police aim to provide a comprehensive training regime with effective supervision to ensure that drivers of vehicles set a good example at all times to both colleagues and members of public, maintaining the high standards of personal responsibility and expectations required by the service.

Police officers and staff who drive police vehicles must comply with all legal obligations defined by the Road Traffic Act 1988 and associated criminal law.

Any action taken by a police officer or member of staff concerning their driving behaviour must comply with the obligations of the Human Rights Act, in that all conduct must be legal, proportionate and necessary with regards to the objectives associated with the policing activity in which the member of staff is engaged.

All police officers and members of staff must be aware of, and implement, Health and Safety at Work Act legislation and practical measures designed to protect and minimise the risk of harm to themselves, colleagues and other road users.

The use of any police vehicle by a police officer or police staff member must be for a policing purpose only and within the limitations of their driving permit. All police drivers must ensure that the use of the vehicle is both lawful and ethical at all times. Police registered vehicles represent the organisation and all driving related functions must always be conducted to the highest of standards.

4.0 Implications of the Policy

4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other

There are no financial implications associated with the implementation of this policy.

All training requirements associated with the use of vehicles owned by, or used on behalf of Essex Police and Kent Police are overseen by the Head of Driver Training/and or their deputy and documented within the procedures/SOPs attached to this policy.

4.2 Risk Assessment(s)

There are considerable risks associated with the use of vehicles within the working environment. Officers and members of staff must dynamically identify and manage the changing risks associated with the nature of the work they are undertaking in line with the National Decision Making model (NDM). Where these risks are identified as high, drivers will receive appropriate instruction relevant to their driving authority.

4.3 Equality Impact Assessment

This procedure has been assessed with regard to an Equality Impact Assessment. As a result of this assessment it has been graded as having a low potential impact as the proposals in this procedure would have no potential or actual differential impact on grounds of age, sex, disability, race, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and pregnancy and maternity.

5.0 Consultation

The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:

  • Driver Training;
  • Police Federation;
  • Unison;
  • Professional Standards Department;
  • Transport Services;
  • Force Solicitor;
  • Health and safety;
  • Operation Policing Command;
  • Human resources;
  • LPT’s;
  • Occupational Health;
  • Insurances Services;
  • Freedom of Information;
  • Finance;
  • IT Security

6.0 Monitoring and Review

The ACPO lead for driver training will be ACC Operations.

This policy will be monitored by the Head of Driver Training and/or their deputy.

A quarterly report for presentation at OPPPB, and quarterly statistics relative to pursuits will be forwarded to the College of Policing (COP) for National recording based on the Home Office Code of Practice for the Management of Police Pursuits 2011. This will be prepared by the Driver Standards Department (Essex only).

This policy will be reviewed by the Head of Driver Training, and/or their deputy, annually to ensure that the training reflects the operational needs of the organisation.

7.0 Related Force policies or related procedures

  • D 2001 Procedure – Safe Driving and General Driving Requirements
  • D 2002 Procedure – Driving Authority
  • D 2003 Procedure – Police Vehicle Incidents, Damage and Collisions
  • D 2004 Procedure – Vehicle Incident Data Recorders
  • T 07108 Procedure/SOP – Telematics – Provision and Management of Equipment and Users

7.1 Data Security

Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.

7.2 Retention & Disposal of Records

Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.

We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.

8.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), partnership agreements (if applicable)

  • National Decision Making Model (NDM)
  • APP – Driver Training
  • APP – Public Site
  • APP – Secure Site
  • College of Policing (COP) Driver Training Learning Programme