Lincolnshire constable given final written warning over unauthorised pursuit before fatal collision

Published: 12 Jan 2023

A Lincolnshire Police constable has been given a final written warning after a disciplinary panel ruled that he had continued a traffic pursuit despite being not trained to do so and told it was not authorised. The car being pursued crashed into a tree in Skegness, killing the driver Kyle Johnson.

Gross misconduct was proven today (Thursday 12 January) against Police Constable Jared Brereton, following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Gross misconduct was not proven against a second officer, Police Constable Phoebe Chambers, who was a passenger in the police vehicle. She had been accused of failing to challenge or report PC Brereton’s actions despite knowing authority for the pursuit had not been given.

The four-day hearing before an independently chaired panel, was organised by the force following a direction from the IOPC, which found a case to answer for gross misconduct for both officers. After hearing the evidence, the panel determined that PC Brereton had breached standards of police professional behaviour for duties and responsibilities, and orders and instructions.

Both officers were also accused of breaching the standards of honesty and integrity by providing misleading accounts of the incident, but the panel found these allegations not proven.

The IOPC’s five-month investigation began following a referral from the force after a VW Scirocco driven by Kyle Johnson struck a tree alongside the A52 Croft Bank Road just after 11pm on 4 March last year (2022).

Shortly before the collision the Scirocco had failed to stop for police while being followed from Skegness town centre due to the manner in which it was being driven. Evidence gathered by IOPC investigators found that PC Brereton was not trained to carry out pursuits and moments after he activated the car’s lights and siren, the force control room supervisor instructed him not to continue.

However telematic data from the police vehicle, and CCTV footage, indicated that it continued at speeds of between 92 and 102mph for 39 seconds, and the lights/siren were deactivated only moments before the collision.

IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Mr Johnson’s family at this difficult time for them.

“It was apparent from the evidence we gathered that PC Brereton knew that following the instruction not to pursue he should have followed policy by deactivating his emergency equipment, pulling off the road and going in a different direction. Despite the instruction PC Brereton continued to pursue at high speed until just before the tragic collision. The disciplinary panel found gross misconduct proven and the final written warning will stay on his record for two years.”

The IOPC’s investigation included reviewing police radio transmissions, telematic data from the police vehicle involved, and analysing CCTV footage from along the route of the pursuit. We also reviewed accounts provided by PCs Brereton and Chambers immediately after the incident and both were also interviewed separately by our investigators.

  • Lincolnshire Police
  • Road traffic incidents