Police who used a bus as a roadblock were unaware there were schoolchildren on board, a review has found.
The inquiry was ordered by commissioner Richard Rhodes following calls from parents of some of the 30 children on the bus.
Documents say it was only at the end of the incident that officers, who had to make “split-second decisions”, became aware of passengers on board.
The Office of Cumbria’s Crime Commissioner said the outcome – where the pursuit of a stolen footballer’s car was ended, the driver arrested and only two people injured – “suggests police did act correctly”.
The report says the events at Appleby, during the town’s annual Horse Fair, unfolded over a four-minute period on June 7.
A BMW, stolen weeks before from the Northumbrian home of Sunderland FC striker Stephane Sessegnon, was spotted by police on Bongate in Appleby. Thousands were attending the Horse Fair at the time.
The report said the BMW was blocked by a police vehicle at a road junction but the driver reversed into it before “accelerating towards the Sands”.
An officer on Battlebarrow believed the vehicle would potentially travel down the crowded street and on to the “even more congested Sands”. To stop it he and a commander “instructed a large bus to … angle itself partially across the street”.
It adds: “The police officers… had to make split-second decisions. The fact there were schoolchildren on the bus could not reasonably have been foreseen.
“The size and positioning of the bus, together with the relatively slow speed of the BMW, meant that if police had realised there were passengers on the bus, it would have been reasonable for them to assume they were adequately protected.
“In reality, time would not have allowed for any evacuation of the bus.”
Recommendations included that the force consider developing protocols to deal with vehicle pursuits in the fair’s pedestrian area.
Read full story at: http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/cumbria-police-unaware-children-were-on-board-bus-used-as-roadblock-review-1.1081797