Kent PCC Ann Barnes 'may not have been insured' in car crash

Ann Barnes
Image caption Ann Barnes was driving her Mercedes when it collided with another car in Dartford in September

Kent's police and crime commissioner may have been driving without insurance when she crashed but will not face prosecution, the police watchdog said.

Ann Barnes's car collided with another car and then hit a tree in September.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the "PCC may have committed the offence of driving without insurance" and passed the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Mrs Barnes said she was insured and the CPS was not pursuing the matter.

The IPCC said: "It was the IPCC's opinion that the PCC may have committed the offence of driving without insurance when she was involved in a road traffic collision on 16 September 2014, and on a number of occasions in the six months before."

Mrs Barnes said: "I have always maintained that so far as I was concerned, when my car was struck I was appropriately insured. The insurance company has paid on the claim."

Her Mercedes collided with another car and hit a tree in Princes Road, Dartford. Nobody was seriously hurt.

'Business or pleasure'

The CPS said the allegation of driving without insurance was based on a journey between a shop and a meeting during which the crash happened.

A spokesman said the case was "technical in nature" and focused on whether the purpose of the journey was for business or pleasure.

"We would consider that far from clear," he said.

"[We] were not provided with sufficient evidence that Ann Barnes drove the relevant vehicle on any other relevant occasion, which would be fundamental to considering the matter in terms of alleged criminality.

"We consider that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute."

The IPCC said it had not referred to the CPS an allegation that Mrs Barnes had obstructed a police officer while inquiries into her insurance cover were being made by Kent Police.

An IPCC spokesman said the there had been insufficient evidence.

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