Fleet News

Police on murder footing over fatal road accidents

POLICE forces will soon be given guidelines enabling them to apply the same investigative methods to fatal road accidents as are applied to murder investigations. Kenneth Williams, Chief Constable of Norfolk Police and chairman designate of the Association of Police Chief Officers' traffic committee, says there needs to be a change in the way police and public view road deaths.

The committee is now looking at drawing up a guidance manual for traffic officers to allow them to investigate such fatalities 'more aggressively' using the same scientific methods which are used to investigate suspicious deaths. This announcement gives further weight to the beliefs expressed by individual police forces that more needs to be done to change the perception that road deaths are in some way acceptable.

Williams told the Driving Standards Agency's 'Safe Driving for Life' conference: 'The public and the police are guilty of not making the same value judgement of people who die on the roads or those murdered or victims of violent crime. Wanton recklessness behind the wheel can have the same awful consequences and therefore should be investigated with the same rigour.' Williams is due to take over as chairman of ACPO's traffic committee from Paul Manning next spring.

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