The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is today issuing its findings from an investigation into a police pursuit prior to a fatal road traffic incident in Nottinghamshire in November last year.
Dale Wilson, 26, of Aspley died after the Vauxhall Corsa he was driving hit a tree on Moor Lane, Calverton on the late evening of 14 November 2011. The investigation was concluded in July but release of findings publicly has awaited the outcome of an inquest. At Nottingham Coroner’s Court today a verdict of accidental death was recorded.
IPCC investigators examined police logs, radio transmissions, CCTV footage and statements from the police officers involved. The evidence showed that officers assessed the risk attributed to the circumstances, obtained pursuit authority and were rightly in the process of considering tactical options prior to the fatal accident.
CCTV analysis has shown that there were three or four seconds between the lead police vehicle and Mr Wilson. Mr Wilson drove around the bend where his vehicle went out of control at a significant distance ahead of the police car.
There is no evidence that the officers pursuing made contact with Mr Wilson’s vehicle before the collision. The Corsa had been seen in the location of a recent burglary and the occupants were unknown. The vehicle was displaying cloned registration plates meaning that if the pursuit had been discontinued it would not have been possible to trace and arrest the individuals at a later time.
IPCC Commissioner Ms Amerdeep Somal said: "The IPCC investigation found that police officers involved in the short pursuit acted appropriately and the decision to authorise the pursuit was correct. The three officers driving were all qualified, advanced police drivers who had received necessary training and their high-powered Volvo V70 police cars were suitable for conducting pursuits.”
On 14 November 2011 at 10.53pm, a witness called Nottinghamshire police and advised that a burglary had taken place at a shop in Bilsthorpe. The witness reported two or three people had exited the premises and left in a silver car. A further witness contacted Nottinghamshire police at 10.56 pm regarding the same burglary and reported that the suspects had left in a Vauxhall Corsa and gave the registration number. Officers were dispatched and at 11.02pm an officer spotted the vehicle on the A614 travelling towards Nottingham.
Police followed the Corsa east along Main Road into Calverton. As they approached Calverton the vehicle heavily accelerated. The Corsa was pursued through Calverton onto Moor Lane by three police vehicles using their emergency lights and siren. At 11.06pm, on a right hand bend before the Oxton bypass, the Corsa went off the road and hit a tree. The engine of the Corsa caught fire and officers removed Mr Wilson from the vehicle and provided medical attention. An ambulance was called to the scene and Mr Wilson was transferred to hospital where his death was confirmed just before midnight.
Nottinghamshire Police referred the incident to the IPCC that night and an independent investigation was begun.
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