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Officer 'almost caused collision'

Published 16/04/2015

A police officer has been disciplined after a near-collision with a motorist
A police officer has been disciplined after a near-collision with a motorist

A police officer has been disciplined after a near-collision with a motorist in Belfast city centre.

A member of the public was forced to do an emergency stop to avoid a PSNI vehicle which had gone through red traffic lights, the Police Ombudsman's office said.

Guidelines state the officer should only have proceeded if sure the way was clear.

The Ombudsman said: "In this case, the Ombudsman believed that the officer had approached the junction too fast and did not stop before proceeding through it, thus almost causing a collision with the car.

"It was also noted that he was not providing an emergency response to a call during the time of the incident."

CCTV footage was viewed by investigators.

The car belonging to the member of the public was seen to proceed through a green light across the junction at the same time as the police car emerged from the opposite junction.

The motorist's car was then seen to brake hard to avoid a collision, while the police car swerved to the left.

Both cars briefly came to a standstill, before the police vehicle drove off.

The policeman denied driving dangerously but admitted momentarily misjudging the other vehicle's speed.

He was subjected to a disciplinary sanction by the PSNI following a recommendation by the Ombudsman.

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