Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands Police criticised after fatal crash

Police have been criticised after a man died in a crash on the way to see his brother in hospital in Birmingham.

Kevin Burris, 29, died in March 2010, just hours after his brother Karl was stabbed, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

It ultimately cleared officers chasing him, but said national guidelines had not been followed and an in-car recording system had been switched off.

The force said its procedures had been in the process of being changed.

The car driven by Mr Burris was spotted "travelling at speed" by officers, who then attempted to catch up with him, the IPCC said.

It added that the recording system in the police car following Mr Burris "could have provided vital evidence which would have assisted the investigation".

'Accidental death'

The watchdog said two of the occupants of the victim's car had alleged a police pursuit had led to the crash.

It said, while there was a possibility the occupants were aware of the presence of the unmarked police car, the investigation found the officers had not had time to direct the driver to stop before the crash.

An inquest jury last month reached a finding of accidental death.

Insp Brian Carmichael, from West Midlands Police's Professional Standards Department, said Mr Burris's death was a result of him "swerving to avoid a car legally in a traffic controlled junction".

He added that, at the time, the force's procedures on pursuits were already in the process of being changed to meet ACPO guidelines.

The IPCC said West Midlands Police had referred the matter to the watchdog and all recommendations made as a result of its investigation had now been addressed.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites