Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Thames Valley Police officers acted appropriately during pursuit on the M4

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into a road traffic collision on the M4 in December 2016 in which Darran Walker died found that Thames Valley Police (TVP) officers did not breach standards of professional behaviour.

Mr Walker, 36, from Slough died after the Peugeot 206 he was driving collided with a van on the westbound slip road at junction 7. Prior to the collision Mr Walker’s car had been pursued by a marked TVP car with its blue lights activated.

Our investigation established that officers initially approached Mr Walker’s car in a marked police vehicle as they thought he may have been involved in a minor collision with the barrier on the Huntercombe slip road and were concerned that he had stopped on the slip road to the motorway. Mr Walker’s car drove away and officers began following him on the motorway. The officers ended the pursuit when Mr Walker drove the wrong way on the hard shoulder and then onto the slip road.

During our investigation, which was completed in October 2017, the officers were treated as witnesses and provided statements to us. We analysed data obtained from the police car’s incident data recorder which records the car’s speed and movements and footage recorded also by the police car, obtained statements from independent witnesses and examined CCTV footage from the area. We concluded that no officer breached the standards of professional behaviour and Thames Valley Police agreed.

IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green said:

“Any death is terribly sad for those affected and my thoughts are with Mr Walker’s family and also the officers involved in the incident.

“We have carried out a thorough examination of the facts surrounding the collision and concluded that no officer breached standards of professional behaviour.”

An inquest held at Reading Town Hall into the death of Mr Walker concluded on Thursday 11 October. A jury recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure.

A summary of our final report will be published in due course.


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