The one that got away: a study of police vehicle pursuit offenders

Johnson, Neil (2015) The one that got away: a study of police vehicle pursuit offenders. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The research conducted provides the first documented detailed profile of pursuit offenders in England and Wales, and considers both drivers and passengers separately. While much previous research is reinforced, in particular regarding gender, age, likelihood of not holding a driving license and previous conviction rates amongst pursuit drivers, it also provided certain unexpected aspects, such as the alarmingly high rate of previous custodial sentences held by pursuit drivers. This is also the first research to differentiate between pursuit drivers and passengers and try to understand the differences between them. By gathering data over a 4 month period of all pursuit offenders within GMP, this research identified that almost all vehicle pursued within GMP were cars, with 57% of the vehicles being stolen, the majority by burglary.
    The profile developing from this research is of a driver who is almost certainly male and likely aged between teens and 30 years old, with a mean age of 24.7. Black drivers were 5 times more prevalent in this research than their representation within the Greater Manchester community, however, this was explored, identifying CJS data and depravation as possible explanations for this disparity.
    Pursuit drivers were identified as very likely to be a habitual criminal with numerous convictions, having a significant history of offending, 86% of drivers having had previous convictions, mostly for SAC and driving offences. Over 60% of drivers had served a previous custodial sentence, and 91.8% were known to GMP via intelligence. 19% of drivers were circulated on PNC as wanted for a previous offence at the time of pursuit, with 15% of drivers within this research were over the legal limit for alcohol. Just 12% of drivers had a driving license, only 5% were insured, and 30% of drivers were disqualified.
    Passengers were found to be slightly younger (mean age 22.5), with females accounting for 20% of passengers. Passengers were less likely to have prior convictions, 65.3% compared with 86.3% of drivers, and were less likely to have been convicted of driving offences. Similarly, significantly less passengers had served a custodial sentence (41% compared to 60%), and generally less intelligence was held on passengers. Female passengers were generally younger and less convicted.
    In contrast to much international research, this research points to the vast majority of pursuit offenders having “nothing to lose”, being habitual criminals with no documents for driving, significant criminal history and likely to have a history of prison sentences.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 12:45
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2016 12:45

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