Es­sex Po­lice chief de­fends ‘first use’ of stinger on mo­tor­cy­cle

Motorcycle Sport & Leisure - - Top Stories -

A se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer has re­leased a video de­fend­ing an of­fi­cer who used a stinger to stop a mo­tor­cy­cle. This is be­lieved to be the first time the de­vice has been used in this way in Bri­tain.

The video, which has ap­peared on, 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 her of­fi­cer's ac­tions, say­ing: “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 of­fi­cer 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.”

Have a look at the video on, and tell us what you think. Was the of­fi­cer jus­ti­fied in his ac­tions of us­ing the tyre-de­flat­ing de­vice on a mo­tor­cy­cle, or was this a step too far with­out thought of the con­se­quences of a po­lice ac­tion? We’d love to hear from you on this.

“As a re­sult of some dan­ger­ous driv­ing, I authorised a mem­ber of my team to use a stinger de­vice.” Es­sex Po­lice Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Rachel Nolan

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