A police officer who was found guilty of careless driving has been fined £350, given five penalty points and ordered to pay compensation of £706.55 and costs of £119.

PC Craig Powell, aged 43, drove through a red light in an unmarked police car while answering an emergency call, which led to a collision with another vehicle.

At a hearing held at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 25 April, he was found not guilty of dangerous driving but guilty of careless driving, following an incident in Truro, on Friday 22 October 2021.

PC Powell was driving an unmarked BMW 5 which was fitted with emergency response lights and sirens, when he responded to reports of a sighting of a suspect vehicle.

With the emergency response equipment activated, he followed a marked police car but both vehicles turned off their lights and sirens after travelling around 24 miles.

PC Powell took a different route to the marked car when he turned into Tregolls Road, Truro, where he saw what he thought was the suspect vehicle heading in the opposite direction.

Having turned around, he re-engaged the emergency response equipment and headed along Tregolls Road on a dual carriageway, which has a speed limit of 30mph, at speeds of up to 68mph.

PC Powell approached the traffic lights at the junction with Trevithick Road and moved into lane one at a speed of 42mph. He passed through a red light without slowing and collided with a grey Mazda 2 just before 9am on Friday 22 October.

The woman driver of the Mazda sustained minor injuries which required hospital treatment.

Following the collision, PC Powell had his emergency driving exemptions suspended but has remained on full duties. This matter remains subject to an internal disciplinary process.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew said: “Officers receive extensive driver training to ensure they undertake their role effectively and without putting the public at any greater risk.

“On this occasion, the officer has failed to maintain the standard of driving that we expect, and this subsequently compromised public safety.

"It is fortunate that the casualty was not more seriously injured, and our thoughts are with her.”