Jun 14, 2012
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is today issuing its findings from an investigation into a fatal road traffic incident involving a police car and a cyclist, Matthew Tuffin, in Lincoln last year.
The investigation concluded in January this year but the findings being made public has awaited an inquest. At Lincoln Coroner’s Court today the Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The IPCC investigation has determined that there is no evidence to suggest that the police constable’s manner of driving fell below the required standard, and therefore there is no case for the officer to answer in respect of misconduct.
At around 10.10 pm on Sunday 27 March 2011 a marked Skoda Octavia police vehicle was responding to a priority call when the collision occurred on the A57 Carholme Road close to the junction with Gresham Street in the built up area of Lincoln.
The cyclist, 28-year-old Matthew Tuffin, suffered life-threatening injuries in the collision and was later pronounced dead at Lincoln County Hospital.
The IPCC investigation concluded based on all the evidence available, that:
- the officer was travelling over the 30 mph speed limit for the road but was entitled to do so in responding to a priority call;
- the standard pedestrian crossing where the collision occurred was indicating a green light giving priority to vehicles at the time of the incident;
- the police vehicle had its blue hazard warning lights activated prior to and during the incident;
- Mr Tuffin was riding his bicycle on the pavement and then turned right across the carriageway at the crossing;
- the officer driving was qualified as a police standard driver and was trained and authorised to carry out emergency driving.
The investigation gathered relevant CCTV footage, took account of a number of witness statements from the public, viewed scene photographs, and examined police airwave transmissions and the data recorder from the police vehicle. Accounts were taken from the police constable driver and a special constable who was a passenger in the Skoda. It looked at force driving policies and commissioned work from a private accident investigation company.
The police were responding to a 999 call relating to a threat of assault in the Birchwood area of Lincoln at the time of the collision.
Because of an apparently faulty wire between the vehicle siren and the onboard Incident Data Recorder (IDR) it was not possible to determine categorically that the siren was activated at the time of the collision. The IPCC recommended that Lincolnshire Police ensure regular testing of vehicle IDRs with appropriate calibration checks to ensure they are working properly.
Lincolnshire Police referred the collision to the IPCC on 28 March last year and it was decided an independent investigation would commence. The IPCC has kept Mr Tuffin’s family and the Coroner updated as the investigation progressed.
For media enquiries please contact the IPCC press office on 0207-166-3239
An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.