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  1. ITV Report

Police criticised following death of teenager in car chase

Thames Valley Police has been severely criticised for its actions during a car chase that ended with the death of teenager Matthew Seddon.

His Ford Fiesta crashed into the central reservation on the A33 in Reading in February 2013 while being chased by several police cars.

Mr Seddon, 19, who had not been wearing a seat belt, was thrown into the road and hit by one of the pursuing police cars.

ber 2015.

Matthew Seddon died when his car crashed into the central reservation Credit: ITV

The IPCC investigated the circumstances of the crash, including examining CCTV and in-car video footage, interviewing officers and witnesses, and serving nine officers and one member of police staff with notice that their conduct was under investigation.

The investigation raised a number of concerns regarding the action of Thames Valley Police during the pursuit. These included:

  • some officers involved in the pursuit did not know what the TVP guidelines permitted - or prevented - them from doing
  • the in-car video recording equipment in one pursuing car was faulty
  • a headset used in the control room during the pursuit did not work properly
Matthew Seddon Credit: ITV

This was a tragic incident which resulted in a young man losing his life. It is vital that all police officers who engage in pursuits are trained and equipped to make the right decisions.

We provided our detailed report to TVP which has accepted our recommendations and taken action to address the standard of equipment used.

Our thoughts remain with Matthew Seddon’s family and friends at this time.

– IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell

The IPCC recommended TVP take steps to improve the reliability of the equipment used in its control rooms and the in-car video recording equipment in its roads policing cars.

Following the conclusion of the IPCC investigation, TVP held misconduct meetings in respect of five officers who were involved in the pursuit.

One officer was given management advice and had six penalty points placed on his TVP driving licence.

No disciplinary action was taken against four other officers, although a case against one officer was proven on one point.

An inquest into Mr Seddon’s death at Reading Coroner’s Court concluded on 28 October with a narrative verdict of death by road traffic collision.