Police driver 'acted appropriately' during fatal pursuit

Police officers who pursued a vehicle in Lancashire before it was involved in a fatal crash killing a 29-year-old man acted in accordance with the relevant policies and procedures.

Jul 22, 2022
By Website Editor
Imran Sultan

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation cleared the officers of any wrongdoing and an inquest which concluded yesterday (July 21) at Preston Coroner’s Court, determined that Imran Sultan, 29, died as a result of a road traffic collision. A female passenger was also taken to hospital as a precaution and treated for minor injuries.

The IOPC received a referral from Lancashire Police following the incident, which took place in Accrington Road, Hapton, on July 18, 2021.

Two officers had seen a Nissan X-Trail driving at speed while travelling along the M65 motorway towards Blackburn. A pursuit began after the driver – Imran Sultan – exited the M65 motorway via the junction eight slip road and increased his speed.

Officers told the IOPC they judged it to be driving erratically. Sultan had traces of alcohol and cannabis in his system and was also uninsured and did not have a valid licence to be behind the wheel.

The roads on which the pursuit took place have speed limits ranging between 30mph and 50mph.

The in-car footage obtained during the investigation showed the driver did not demonstrate any intention to stop for the police, at times increasing the speed of the car to approximately 95mph.

The contact between the police and Mr Sultan during the pursuit was brief and lasted about three minutes from the initial sighting.

There was also a significant distance between the police car and the Nissan during the pursuit. The Nissan was out of sight of police at the time of the collision, with officers becoming aware when they saw debris on the road as they travelled around a bend.

The evidence showed the officer driving the police vehicle considered the weather and road conditions, traffic and pedestrian volume as well as the speed of the pursuit, and this information was appropriately relayed to the control room operator.

The IOPC concluded while police presence may have affected the manner of Mr Sultan’s driving, the evidence indicated the officers acted in accordance with local and national policies. It was also found the risk assessments carried out by the officers and control room staff during the pursuit were appropriate and necessary.

IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said: “This was a tragic event that resulted in a man’s death. Our thoughts remain with his family and all those affected. It is vital that incidents like this are thoroughly and independently investigated, which is what we have done.

“Our findings were provided to the Coroner to help inform the inquest proceedings. Our investigation found that the officers involved were appropriately-trained and driving in accordance with force and national policies during the pursuit.”

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