Essex Police has released a video defending an officer who used a stinger on a motorbike – for what is believed to be the first time on British roads – during the Southend Shakedown on Easter Monday.
Scroll down to take a look at the video of the incident.
. @CSuptNolan talks about our use of a 'stinger' device in #Southend last weekend and the unacceptable abuse our office on the scene received on social media as a result of a command decision. pic.twitter.com/jHsY0Tixu3
— Essex Police (@EssexPoliceUK) April 4, 2018
A video that has appeared on social media shows a policeman on Southend seafront deploying the stinger to stop a motorcyclist who rode past him while he was stopping traffic to let a group of children on bikes cross the road.
Since its appearance, it’s caused a mass debate – with opinion split between whether it was a fair use of the stinger, or if it was dangerous. And now Essex Police’s Chief Superintendent Rachel Nolan has defended their actions. She said: “Over the bank holiday, we policed a motorcycle event in Southend. The vast majority of people who came to the event were responsible and enjoyed a great day out. A tiny number of people behaved antisocially or dangerously and it is our job to deal with that.
“As a result of some dangerous driving, I authorised a member of my team to use a stinger device. His photo has been posted on Facebook and abusive comments have been made about him from individuals and Essex businesses without any moderation.
“That’s unfair. He is a well-trained, experienced roads policing officer. He has seen the devastation and trauma that road traffic collisions cause. He has had to knock on the doors of families and tell them that their loved ones have died on the roads. He has been the first on scene when motorcyclists have been in collision through no fault of their own. He has shown dedication, respect and professionalism.
“The use of the stinger is evolving to deal with different challenges on the roads and I can confirm it is tested for safe use on motorcycles. While I am not here to defend its use, the fact some of those involved rode up and down the pedestrian footpaths on the cliff face immediately after the deployment is indicative of the driving displayed.
“The use of the stinger was authorised and endorsed right up the chain of command. It has been used in other forces previously, including Essex, and will continue to be used as a tactic to deal with dangerous driving that puts others at risk. Our office was acting in good faith to prevent harm “He didn’t want a tiny minority of people to ruin the day.
“He didn’t want children crossing a road to be put in harm’s way because a motorcyclist didn’t listen to an order to stop. He took action. That’s what I think the public ask of us. We don’t expect everyone to agree with police action, but we do expect that people are able to disagree politely and with respect to the private lives of officers and their families.”
What do you think? Necessary or dangerous?