Six police officers have been reprimanded after they ignored orders and chased a stolen car – which caused a huge pile-up.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary dispatched six patrol cars and a helicopter to pursue a burglar driving a stolen blue Volkswagen EOS Cabriolet at terrifying speeds down country lanes in 2008.
The 10-minute chase ended when the burglar crashed into a line of parked cars.
An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report yesterday found the six constables were guilty of ignoring an order to abandon the chase.
Two officers received formal written warnings and four others were given ”formal words of advice”.
Despite CCTV suggesting an officer assaulted one of the people in the stolen car, no charges were bought.
The IPCC also dropped charges against five other officers including a sergeant due to a lack of evidence.
IPCC Commissioner Rebecca Marsh said: ”Fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt as a result of this pursuit, but the reckless disregard of an order to abandon the pursuit could have had serious consequences.
”A member of the public was concerned enough to complain about the incident.
”On learning that an IPCC investigation was underway he decided not to pursue his complaint.
”The officers have now been reprimanded and the force has revised its pursuit policy.”
Officers started pursuing the car at 4pm on November 14, 2008 towards Bristol on the A38 through the village of Rooksbridge.
But an order from the control room to stop the pursuit was ignored and the officers continued to chase the car for 10 minutes before it crashed at Churchill on the A38.
The driver was charged with burglary, dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking and was jailed for three years.