Northamptonshire Police to fund driver training programme at US air force base

Northamptonshire Police is to fund a driver training programme for US staff at RAF Croughton following the death of teenager Harry Dunn.

Jan 21, 2020
By Tony Thompson
Harry Dunn

Chief Constable Nick Adderley said all new arrivals at the base would get lessons on Highway Code awareness, UK road laws and protocols.

Mr Adderley took to Twitter to announce his new initiative – saying his plans to fund the training were a “mitigation measure I want to take”.

Mr Dunn, 19, died after his motorcycle was in a collision with a car that was driving on the wrong side of the road close to the base last August.

The 42-year-old suspect, Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence official, claimed diplomatic immunity after the incident and was able to return to the US.

Since Mr Dunn’s death, Mr Adderley said there had been at least two further incidents of vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road outside the RAF base.

Last week, footage emerged showing a BMW with a US government vehicle registration driving on the wrong side of the road.

Mr Adderley said the training would begin at the base, which is used as a US Air Force communications station, from March 12

“Following a positive discussion with senior officials at RAF Croughton, I am pleased to announce that Northamptonshire Police (Roads Policing experts) will be providing training to all staff at the base and to all new arrivals at the site for the foreseeable future,” he added.

“This is only the beginning and I have agreed to provide that training for free to ensure every member of staff at RAF Croughton receives the input and understands the requirements here in the UK. This will include Highway Code awareness, UK road laws and protocols.”

Mrs Sacoolas was charged in December with causing Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving.

Despite the UK making an extradition request for Mrs Sacoolas, the Prime Minister has said the chances of her returning were “very low”.

The US State Department said the UK extradition request for Ms Sacoolas was highly inappropriate and would be an abuse.

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