Norfolk Police's car-crash-driver-search 'not thorough'

A man was left in a ditch for hours after crashing his car because a police search was not thorough enough, a report said.

The victim was found by a member of the public more than five hours after the crash, in Norfolk, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

Norfolk Police accepted its service "fell below that expected", after the crash near Wisbech, in July last year.

The IPCC said officers did not "conduct a sufficiently thorough search".

The crashed dark blue Peugeot, off the A47 near Walpole Highway, was reported to police at about 11:20 BST on 8 July 2012.

'Not intentional'

Officers could not find the driver, and after they failed to locate him at his home address, put an "authorities aware" sticker on the vehicle.

The victim was spotted in a ditch at about 16:30 BST and was taken to hospital with life threatening injuries and is believed to still be recovering.

The IPCC began an investigation after a member of his family made a complaint.

The report said: "The officers' failure to find the man was not an intentional omission and did not amount to a criminal offence or misconduct."

However, a spokesman added: "[Their] failure to find him meant that valuable time was lost before he received medical attention."

Assistant Chief Constable Charlie Hall, from Norfolk Police, said: "We accept the IPCC's findings that, on this occasion, our service fell below that expected.

"While the report acknowledges some of the unique challenges faced by the officers at the scene of this incident, we can only apologise to the victim and his family for the distress caused."

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