A MAN has criticised police for chasing a stolen car which crashed into him.
But officers are adamant they did nothing wrong and were closely following a strict pursuit policy.
Electrician Adam Wharton's van was badly damaged when it was hit by the stolen Rover at the junction of Highgate Avenue and Highgate Lane, Lepton, at 2pm a week last Sunday.
The 22-year-old said police should not have been chasing the car through a residential area as the police helicopter was hovering overhead.
He also says the police should have paid for the recovery of his damaged van.
The van is owned by his father, who has been given a £200 bill by the garage that the police organised to take it away.
Mr Wharton added: "Very quickly after the crash there were 10 police vehicles at the scene.
"That's a waste of taxpayers' money. They must have heard there was a chase over the radio and all joined in.
"I've lost my faith in them.
"They should have backed off in a residential area and then picked up the pursuit on main roads.
"There was no need for them to chase the car through the village."
Mr Wharton also complained that no police officers offered to help him get his tools home from the crashed van.
Eventually, two community support officers used their van to help him after he had complained at the scene.
Mr Wharton suffered back and neck injuries. He had to take the next day off work to go the doctor's and sort out his insurance.
Five people in the stolen car were arrested.
Sergeant Danny Groiser, of Huddersfield traffic police, said only one police car was pursuing the Rover and was well behind it when it hit Mr Wharton's van.
He added: "Officers in the Lepton area noticed a Rover which had been reported as stolen and began to follow it.
"It refused to stop and made off at speed. The officers pursued it in accordance with West Yorkshire Police's policy, supported by the helicopter.
"Only one traffic unit was directly involved in the pursuit, which resulted in the Rover failing to give way at a junction and hitting an innocent member of the public.
"At the time of the impact the police vehicle was some 100 yards behind the Rover.
"Mr Wharton's vehicle was recovered at his request - as is normal procedure - and he was advised to contact his insurance company to recover the costs.
"Sgt Barry Smith spoke to Mr Wharton at the scene and arranged for recovery of his vehicle.
"Sgt Smith contacted him the next day to pass on all the details he would need to give his insurance firm. If Mr Wharton is unhappy there is a complaints procedure."