Independent Investigation exonerates Staffordshire Police Officers
Written by Hitmix Local News on 14 January 2021
On 15 April 2018 in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire Police pursued a Toyota Aygo after it failed to stop. During the pursuit, the police vehicle made tactical contact with the Toyota in an attempt to stop it driving the wrong way on a slip road; however, the Toyota disengaged from the police car and drove the wrong way down a dual carriageway. The pursuit was immediately aborted.
The Toyota travelling the wrong way down the carriageway was then involved in a collision with two oncoming vehicles. The two occupants of the Toyota suffered serious injuries and one of the occupants was pronounced dead at the scene.
Staffordshire Police referred the incident to us as is required when someone dies after contact with the police and we started an independent investigation. We attended the scene and the post incident procedure. During the investigation, we arranged and attended examinations of the vehicles involved in the collision.
We also reviewed police witness statements, examined the in-car video footage from the police vehicle and CCTV footage from along the route of the pursuit and reviewed collision investigation data and documentation.
There were no indications that any officers had misconducted themselves. The evidence indicates that all officers and police staff acted appropriately and in accordance with policy and procedure.
An inquest at Stoke-on-Trent finished on 19 March 2020 and gave the cause of death as traumatic head injuries. In its conclusion, the jury said that the man driving the Toyota failed to stop for police, leading to a pursuit, “at the end of which [he] made the decision to drive contraflow along the A50, resulting in the collision that tragically cost him his life.
The force’s statement is below:
In a statement Staffordshire Police said: “Our sympathies remain with all of those affected by this tragic event.
“An independent investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) concluded that there were no indications that any officers had misconducted themselves. The evidence indicated that all the officers and police staff acted appropriately and in accordance with policy and procedure.
“At an inquest in March 2020, which examined the circumstances and evidence following the fatal road traffic collision in April 2018, the jury delivered a narrative verdict. In summary, they found that Joshua died as a result of a road traffic collision after driving contraflow along the A50. He made this decision in order to evade capture by the police.”