Dillon Turner death: Watchdog clears Durham and North Yorkshire Police

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Dillon TurnerImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Dillon Turner died in hospital hours after the crash

A watchdog has cleared two police forces of any wrongdoing over the death of a man who crashed a stolen quad bike to escape an oncoming patrol car.

Dillon Turner, 19, died after the bike ploughed into a lamppost in Ingleton, County Durham, on 14 June 2016.

The North Yorkshire and Durham forces were involved in a joint operation to recover the machine at the time.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has recommended extra training for the officers involved.

The stolen red Honda bike had been taken from the Keld area of the county and was being pursued by officers from North Yorkshire Police.

Durham Police officers were called to assist after a failed attempt to stop the bike with a stinger device.

Right to life

"Significant issues" with radio communication between the two forces, meant Durham officers did not have "full situational awareness" of the pursuit.

As Mr Turner, from Coundon, County Durham, rode through the village of Ingleton, he saw a Durham police car approaching from the opposite direction and crashed while attempting to evade it.

The police driver was unaware of Mr Turner's position because of the communication failure, the IOPC said.

Mr Turner later died in hospital of his injuries.

An inquest recorded a narrative verdict, with Durham coroner Oliver Longstaff ruling the police operation had not breached Mr Turner's right to life.

A spokesman for the IOPC added: "We looked at the actions of both Durham and North Yorkshire Police (NYP) on the day of Mr Turner's death.

"We did not find that any of the officers or staff involved behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.

"However, we made recommendations to NYP to help them improve how officers communicate with one another during similar incidents.

"Durham Constabulary has also reviewed and updated its training in relation to cross-border communications."

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