Officers ‘acted appropriately’ prior to fatal collision, IOPC finds
Officers involved the pursuit of a car that crashed into a tree leaving all four occupants dead “acted appropriately throughout”, an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has found.
The four men – Murtza Chaudhry, 21, Arbaaz Hussain, 21, Zeeshan Khalid, 20 and Tayyab Siddique, 22 – all died when their car, a grey BMW, hit a tree on Toller Lane, Bradford, in the early hours of August 2, 2018.
An inquest at Bradford Coroner’s Court, which concluded on Tuesday (September 14) returned a conclusion of death by misadventure for Mr Chaudhry, and that Mr Hussain, Mr Khalid and Mr Siddique died as a result of a road traffic collision, the IOPC has confirmed.
Before the crash, West Yorkshire Police officers were concerned about the manner in which the car was being driven on Stony Lane. A short pursuit began after the BMW failed to stop for officers in an unmarked police car, which had turned on its lights and sirens.
The officers arrived at the collision scene approximately 11 seconds after the impact.
The IOPC said its investigation examined in-car footage from the unmarked police car and audio transmissions between the officers and police control room; detailed accounts from the officers in the unmarked police car; accounts from a number of witnesses; and local CCTV from the scene.
It added: “All officers were treated as witnesses throughout the IOPC investigation. The investigation found that the appropriately trained, advanced police driver’s decision to engage in a pursuit after the failure to stop, and the continued risk assessment undertaken by officers during the pursuit, were in line with force and national policies.”
Following the inquest, IOPC Regional Director Miranda Biddle said: “This was an appalling tragedy, and my thoughts remain with the bereaved families and everyone affected.
“I would particularly like to reiterate my thanks to the men’s families and the police officers involved for their engagement throughout our investigation, which enabled our team to conclude their work as promptly as possible.
“The available evidence shows that the two officers in the unmarked police car acted appropriately throughout, and their decision-making was in line with procedures. They also acted swiftly to try to provide medical attention to the men on encountering the crash.”
The OPC said its investigation concluded in March 2019 and a report was subsequently shared with the coroner, the families of the deceased and West Yorkshire Police.