'Serious errors' in Gloucestershire police response

A Gloucestershire police constable made "serious errors" responding to a 999 call, the police watchdog has found.

A motorist rang the police on 16 March last year saying she thought she might have hit someone as she drove home near Cheltenham Racecourse.

More than two hours later, a 52-year-old man was found in a ditch with multiple injuries.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the police officer failed in her duties.

The PC and a special constable first went to the area at Evesham Road to make a search but could not find anything.

They then went to the woman's home in Bishop's Cleeve and questioned her before returning to the police station.

Because the special constable felt the damage to the motorist's car was caused by a collision with a person, he persuaded his colleague they should continue to investigate.

Bruised heart

The officers eventually went to the correct location and found the man lying in a ditch by the side of the road.

The 52-year-old, from Leeds, had injuries including nine broken ribs, a punctured lung, three broken vertebrae in his lower back, a collapsed disc at the base of his neck, a broken shoulder bone and a bruised heart.

The 46-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop following an accident but released without charge.

The IPCC found the PC failed to carry out her duties, wasted time, discarded significant forensic evidence and demonstrated "reticence" in her inquiries.

IPCC commissioner Rebecca Marsh said: "The public has a right to expect that where an officer performs this poorly that they are properly held to account."

In a disciplinary hearing, Gloucestershire Constabulary found the PC guilty of misconduct and submitted her for "strong management advice".

Assistant Chief Constable Ivor Twydell said: "We will learn from this, as an organisation, to seek to ensure that if another incident of this sort takes place, we deal with it better."

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