09:13AM, Friday 21 February 2020
Police officers involved in a fatal collision during a training exercise did not commit any criminal offences, an independent body has found.
PC James Dixon, 39, and Gladys Goodwin, 91, died following a traffic collision on the A4 in Hare Hatch on December 5, 2018.
PC Dixon was taking part in an undercover training exercise with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) and during a criminal trial last month, the court heard how PC Dixon was travelling at between 80mph and 97mph on the 50mph road immediately before the collision.
Agne Jasulaitiene, who was driving the car that PC Dixon collided with, and who had Mrs Goodwin in her passenger seat, was found not guilty of two counts of causing death by careless driving.
On Thursday, February 13, the Independent Office for Police Conduct published the findings of its own investigation.
It stated that it found ‘no indication any police officer behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings or had committed a criminal offence’.
However, the investigation found confusion among officers regarding the speed they can travel during training exercises.
Both Thames Valley Police and HMRC have agreed to review their guidance for officers on training exercises.
Sarah Green, regional director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct, said: “Following the conclusion of the recent criminal trial, I extend my condolences to the families and everyone affected by the death of Gladys Goodwin and PC James Dixon.
“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.”
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