Avon and Somerset Police officer dismissed following road rage incident
27 Feb 2020 01:54 PM
An Avon and Somerset Police officer who gave a false account of his involvement in a road rage incident has been dismissed by a disciplinary panel, following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.
PC Keith James was off duty in Radstock, Somerset on 15 February 2018 when he was involved in an incident with another driver. He approached the man, who was a driving instructor, identified himself as a police officer and informed him that he would be reporting him for driving offences.
The next day PC James attended the man’s home to give him a verbal notice of prosecution and alerted the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
The driving instructor was later charged with driving without due care and attention and attended Bath Magistrates’ Court in September 2018. He was found not guilty after dash cam footage from his vehicle showed inconsistencies with PC James’ version of events.
Gross misconduct was proven for PC James at a misconduct hearing held by the force yesterday (Wednesday 26 February).
A formal complaint was made by the man to Avon and Somerset Police, which was referred to the IOPC in October 2018. Our investigation concluded in June 2019.
Regional Director Catrin Evans said:
“There were a number of inconsistencies in PC James’ account of the incident when compared with the dash cam footage. It was clearly unreasonable for PC James to act as investigating officer when he was the supposed aggrieved party and for him to contact the DVSA. The panel found his actions fell below the professional standards expected of a police officer.
“Behaviour such as this has a detrimental effect on public confidence in the police service and could have cost the driving instructor his livelihood.”