Ice deaths – of­fi­cers will keep their jobs

Po­lice dis­ci­plined af­ter fail­ing to leave warn­ing sign on road

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

PC David Stamp, PC Hugh Flana­gan and PC Caro­line Ir­win of Amer­sham Po­lice sta­tion are to be dis­ci­plined af­ter the nine-day pub­lic mis­con­duct hear­ing con­cluded to­day.

The hear­ing heard how the trio were called out to the A413, be­tween Wen­dover and Great Mis­senden, in the early hours of March 4, 2014.

A driver, Martin Ken­dal, had phoned the po­lice at 4.52am to re­port that he had crashed his car, blam­ing the ice for the crash.

PC Stamp was the first on the scene, at 5.06am, and was joined shortly after­wards by PC Flana­gan and PC Ir­win.

De­spite hav­ing rea­son to be­lieve ice caused the ac­ci­dent, the three left the scene at 5.26am with­out leav­ing a sign to warn of the icy state of the road.

Shortly be­fore 5.54am there was a fa­tal road traf­fic col­li­sion very close to the lo­ca­tion of Mr Ken­dall’s ac­ci­dent where two men, Carl Bird and Mal­colm Tin­dall passed away and an­other passenger was se­ri­ously in­jured.

The al­le­ga­tions of gross mis­con­duct were proven against PC Stamp while the panel deemed PC Flana­gan and PC Ir­win were guilty of mis­con­duct.

PC Stamp will be given a writ­ten warn­ing while the other two of­fi­cers will be given man­age­ment ad­vice.

While the fam­ily of Mr Tin­dall wel­comed the mis­con­duct find­ings, they added “We are dis­ap­pointed that sanc­tions given to these of­fi­cers were not more se­ri­ous given the find­ings of the panel”.

They also ex­pressed their an­guish at the amount of time taken to reach the ver­dict, al­most ex­actly three years af­ter the ac­ci­dent.

“The process in get­ting to this point has been dif­fi­cult and stress­ful. We re­main at a loss to know why the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has taken this long,” the state­ment reads.

“Whilst a fam­ily is griev- ing and need­ing answers to help them find clo­sure, we feel there should be more ef­fi­cient meth­ods of in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Deputy Chief Con­sta­ble John Camp­bell said: “Af­ter care­fully con­sid­er­ing all of the ev­i­dence the panel con­cluded that the of­fi­cers’ con­duct amounted to gross mis­con­duct and mis­con­duct and they were in breach of the stan­dards of pro­fes­sional be­hav­iour; namely du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and dis­cred­itable con­duct.

“PC Stamp has been is­sued with a writ­ten warn­ing and PC Flana­gan and PC Ir­win will be given man­age­ment ad­vice. They have been left in no doubt about the se­ri­ous­ness of their ac­tions.

“The Force’s re­sponse to the in­ci­dents has been sub­ject to an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC).

“I will en­sure that we con­tinue to re­view the cir­cum­stances and where im­prove­ments to pol­icy and pro­ce­dures are iden­ti­fied, these will be im­ple­mented across the Force to en­sure we de­liver the best pos­si­ble ser­vice to our com­mu­ni­ties.

“Our thoughts re­main with the fam­ily and friends of the de­ceased men, Carl Bird and Mal­colm Tin­dall, and ev­ery­one who has been af­fected by the tragic events al­most three years ago.”

The hear­ing started on Fe­bru­ary 20 at Shaw House in New­bury, Berk­shire. The three-mem­ber panel was led by legally qual­i­fied chair Michael Sal­ter, ac­com­pa­nied by a se­nior of­fi­cer and a lay per­son.

An in­quest into Mr Tin­dall’s 2014 death will now be­gin, with the pre-in­quest re­view hear­ing sched­uled for to­day (Thurs­day March 9) and the hear­ing it­self sched­uled to be­gin on April 24.

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