Police failed to deal with drink driver before crash

Police in Tayside have been criticised after failing to act over a possible drink driver who later crashed.

A member of the public told officers prior to the crash that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

The motorist subsequently crashed his vehicle, resulting in four people being injured.

An independent report found that officers had failed to properly deal with information from the public which could have prevented the collision.

The crash happened in the early hours of Sunday 30 June last year when the 19-year-old driver lost control of his vehicle on a road near Forfar, in Angus, and collided with a wall. He suffered serious injuries, with his three passengers also being hurt.

Prior to the crash, a member of the public had told police that he believed that the man was driving the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

'Independent investigation'

Police Scotland asked the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), Prof John McNeill, to carry out an independent investigation into how its officers had handled that information.

As part of the investigation, the PIRC examined police command procedures and data from police radios. Statements were also obtained from both officers and members of the public.

Prof McNeill said: "My investigation found that had additional information been obtained and circulated appropriately to other officers there was potential to stop and breathalyse the person thereby preventing a later serious road accident."

The report went on to recommend that Police Scotland reinforce to staff the importance of following procedures relating to information provided about a person driving while potentially affected by alcohol.

The findings are now with Police Scotland's Deputy Chief Constable.

In October of last year Tayside Police faced criticism after a similar incident which saw a man crash his vehicle into a 30-year-old female pedestrian, leaving her seriously injured. Officers had twice been warned that he was under the influence of alcohol prior to the crash.

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