Berkshire

Police did not break law over Wargrave death crash, watchdog says

Gladys Goodwin and James Dixon Image copyright PoliceHandouts
Image caption Gladys Goodwin and PC James Dixon died in a crash in December 2017

An investigation has found officers involved in a crash in which a police motorcyclist and 91-year-old woman died did not break the law.

PC James Dixon, who was taking part in a training exercise, may have been riding at up to 97mph prior to the 2017 crash in Wargrave, Berkshire.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) looked at the planning of the exercise and PC Dixon's actions.

Thames Valley Police said it has launched a review into the crash.

Gladys Goodwin, 91, died when PC Dixon crashed into the side of a Toyota car she was a passenger in on the A4 Bath Road in December 2017.

The officer, who was 39 and had starred in Sky TV's Road Wars, was on an unmarked motorcycle taking part in a exercise teaching surveillance techniques to Revenue & Customs (HMRC) personnel.

In January, Toyota driver Agne Jasulaitiene was cleared of two counts of causing death by careless driving.

Image caption Agne Jasulaitiene (centre) was cleared of two counts of causing death by careless driving

The IOPC said it identified confusion around the speed officers could travel, but investigators found "no indication any police officer behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings or had committed a criminal offence".

IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: "We found that although the training exercise PC Dixon was taking part in did adhere to policy and procedures, improvements could be made to ensure all officers are aware of when speed exemptions are applicable or not."

Thames Valley Police has agreed to review its guidance for officers on training exercises, the IOPC said, and Ms Green said she will meet discuss "organisational learning" with the force and HMRC.

The force said: "As is right and proper, evaluation of this incident has been ongoing and any way to improve risk assessments and current policies, despite actions on the day being in line with them, have been established and are welcomed to improve the safety of our officers and staff, our partners and the wider community."

In a statement, HMRC said it will be meeting the IOPC to discuss the findings of the investigation.

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