A repeat offender has been sentenced for dangerous driving after a targeted operation that led to two police chases and a hunt involving the force helicopter and dogs.

Jean-Luc Coombe, aged 26 and from St Austell, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court to a total of 11 months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for five years and two months. He also received endorsements to his driving licence.

The offences related to two incidents of dangerous driving and driving while disqualified with no insurance in July 2023.

Coombe had a history of driving offences and subsequent convictions which resulted in him being disqualified from driving and periods of imprisonment. Despite this, he continued to commit further driving offences and posed a “significant risk to members of the public using the roads”, according to police.

Through gathered intelligence, Devon and Cornwall Police Roads Policing Team identified Coombe as a person of interest and he became a subject of Operation Dragoon - an operation aimed to identify drivers who create a risk to themselves and other road users.

Inspector Hodgkiss of the Roads Policing Team said: “The operation is designed to make the roads safer for all users through a targeted programme of education, engagement, and enforcement. “Intelligence is gathered, and once flagged, individuals are risk assessed and graded and then proactive measures are put in place to safeguard both the subject and the wider community.

“As a result of this, vehicles identified as being used by Coombe were circulated and pro-active patrols conducted in areas frequented by him.

“During the afternoon of Wednesday, July 12, specialist officers located a Vauxhall Astra linked to Coombe being driven in Bugle near St Austell. The Astra failed to stop when required to do so by the officers, resulting in a pursuit.

“Coombe drove dangerously to evade the police, overtaking on blind bends, failing to give way, and travelling along country lanes at speeds of up to 80mph, forcing oncoming traffic to take evasive action.

“As his driving was so dangerous and he was at such a risk of harming the public, the pursuing officers stood down. Subsequent efforts were made to locate and arrest Coombe but were unsuccessful.

“During the afternoon of Thursday, July 20, officers from Devon and Cornwall No Excuse Team, dedicated to road safety observed a Vauxhall Zafira that had been reported as stolen being driven on the A30 near Bodmin. A co-ordinated response was provided, assisted by the Roads Policing Team and Armed Response officers.

“The Zafira had several occupants in the car and reacted to the police presence resulting in a pursuit in the Bugle area. The Zafira drove dangerously and showed no regard to the safety of other road users so officers stood down from the pursuit and a search was conducted, supported by the police helicopter (National Police Air Service), the Police Dog Unit and local officers.

“The Zafira was located, and Coombe was found trying to hide and run from officers before he was arrested.”

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Enquiries resulted in CCTV being obtained of Coombe refuelling the Zafira at a local fuel station earlier in the day. He was charged with several offences and remanded for court.

Inspector Hodgkiss, of the Roads Policing Team, added: “We are committed to making the roads of Devon and Cornwall a safer place by rigorously targeting those that commit offences, or use drink and drugs when driving, with all the resources at our disposal.”

If anyone has any information regarding impaired or dangerous drivers,contact the police on 101 or via the foce website and report it. Any footage of dangerous or careless driving from dash cams can be sent to Operation SNAP.