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Police officers acted reasonably and proportionately when they requested a drunk driver turn down his music but allowed him to go on his way shortly before he died in a collision, according to the IPCC.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) also ruled that Lincolnshire Police officers who attempted to later stop John McKeown when they noticed he was not wearing a seat belt were not at fault.
In a report published yesterday (August 18), the IPCC concluded that police contact with the driver was minimal and their actions did not contribute to his death.
Mr McKeown, 62, died in hospital after he lost control of the Micra he was driving and hit a wall in Stamford, in the early hours of August 22, 2015.
Shortly beforehand officers had attempted to stop him after spotting him driving without his seatbelt on. When officers got out of their car to speak to him at a junction he pulled away. He was followed for a short distance before the fatal collision occurred.
However, his family questioned why he was allowed to remain in control of his car as other officers had earlier requested that he turn down the music in his car as he drove off.
The IPCC said officers concerned had no reason to suspect he had been drinking and in the investigator’s opinion it was therefore reasonable and proportionate that once Mr McKeown had complied with the officers’ request about his music, they had taken no further action until later seeing that he was driving without his seat belt.
The IPCC’s report concluded that there was no causal link between his death and officers’ actions.
IPCC Operations Manager Steve Martin said: “I would like to again extend our condolences to Mr McKeown’s family for their sad loss. Our investigation found no fault on the part of the police who attempted to stop him in his car during the normal course of their duties. For reasons we will never know he did not comply with their request to stop and ultimately there were tragic consequences.”
An inquest at Stamford Coroners Court returned a narrative verdict on July 27 this year.
It concluded that Mr McKeown had died in a crash while over the drink drive limit and not wearing a seat belt. He had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal drink drive limit.
The IPCC investigation decided there were no misconduct issues for any police officers.
A familiar sight over Grantham, most of RAF Coningsby’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) has been grounded due to an engine fault.
The problem is related to the Rolls Royce Merlin engine – which powers aircraft including the Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane.
Issues with the engines caused five of the Spitfires, its Hawker Hurricane and its Lancaster bomber to be grounded until the technical hitch is solved.
The BBMF’s three remaining Spitfires use different engines but are reportedly also out of action for other reasons.
A Dakota transport plane and two Chipmunk trainers remain airworthy.
Although there’s no word yet on how long it’ll take to fix the problem, it comes ahead of the first RAF Scampton airshow, set for early September.
The event is due to include planes from the BBMF, which has a total of 12 historical aircraft, including a Lancaster – one of only two left flying in the world.
In a Tweet the BBMF announced: “A routine engine inspection has highlighted an issue requiring more technical advice. Until that advice is received, the BBMF will not be flying.’
A spokesman for the BBMF apologised for the grounding: “A routine engine inspection has highlighted a fault with one of our Merlin engines. We are currently investigating the fault.
“Consequently, purely as a precaution we have taken the decision to temporarily pause flying of our aircraft powered by Merlin engines. We will advise further as soon as we are able to.
“We are still operating our Griffon-engined Spitfire. We realise the disappointment this will be to our many supporters and airshow organisers; however, safety is our paramount concern.”
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Can you help with an investigation into an incident at Fantasy Island?
A women was walking with her family when her young daughter stopped and asked the owner of a dog if he bites.
The girl’s mum stood between the dog and her daughter as the dog lunged towards the girl. The women was bitten on her leg and bottom by the dog.
The dog is described as a sandy/brindle coloured staffy type dog and was being walked by a man who is described as having grey hair.
Police are appealing for the owner of the dog or anyone who can help to contact us on 101 quoting incident number 455 of 3 August.
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