Investigation concludes following fatal police pursuit in Stretford
Police officers who pursued a vehicle in Stretford before it was involved in a fatal collision acted in accordance with the relevant policies and procedures, an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation concluded.
An inquest which concluded last week at Stockport Coroner’s Court, determined Devonte Scott, died as a result of a road traffic collision.
We received a referral from Greater Manchester Police following the incident on Sunday 16 May 2021, in Stretford, in which Mr Scott, 18, died after the Ford Fiesta he was driving hit two cars. A driver from one of the other cars involved was also taken to hospital as a precaution and treated for minor injuries.
IOPC investigators attended the scene of the collision and obtained CCTV footage, body-worn video footage and statements from the police officers and members of the public during the course of the investigation.
Our investigation, which concluded in December 2021, found officers in an unmarked police car became aware of the Fiesta when it overtook them and accelerated away, travelling above the speed limit for the road.
Officers activated their lights and sirens to indicate to the driver to stop but Mr Scott failed to do so. He then turned the Fiesta around and drove off back up Urmston lane at speeds estimated by witnesses to be between 60mph and 100mph.
The car collided with two vehicles further down the road, near the junction with Ryecroft Road. The Fiesta came to a stop on its roof, with Mr Scott trapped inside. The police car did not arrive on scene for 23 seconds following the collision, showing that it was some distance behind the Fiesta.
Once officers arrived, they immediately tried to assist Mr Scott and called for the appropriate emergency services.
The evidence shows the officer driving was appropriately trained to an advanced level and authorised to engage in pursuits of this nature.
We concluded that while the police presence may have affected the manner of Mr Scott’s driving, the evidence indicated the officers acted in accordance with local and national policies.
IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said: “This was a tragic incident in which a young man lost his life and our thoughts remain with his family, friends and all those affected.
“Our investigation found that the officers involved were appropriately-trained and driving in accordance with force and national policies during the pursuit.
“The evidence we gathered was provided to the coroner to assist with the inquest proceedings, which we hope has helped answer some of the families’ questions about that day.”