Ice deaths – officers will keep their jobs
Police disciplined after failing to leave warning sign on road
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.