Mistakes found in the way South Wales Police managed pursuit which preceeded death of Kyle Griffith
Police watchdogs have highlighted a number of mistakes in the way the South Wales force handled a pursuit that preceded the death of a 25-year-old pedestrian.Kyle Griffith died after being hit by a Fiat car that had made-off from police in Cardiff in January last year.
The driver of the car — Steven Freye — was later found guilty of murder and given a life sentence.
An Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated found a number of problems with the way South Wales managed the pursuit.
The investigation found that the control room operator did not find out whether the police driver was authorised to carry out pursuits, and that there were subsequent changes made to the police log of the incident.
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The IPCC found a case to answer for misconduct, and following a hearing the force gave the control room operator a written warning.The force also decided that the police driver would be subject of management action for pursuing when he was not an authorised pursuit driver.
IPCC commissioner for Wales Tom Davies said: "I would like to again offer my sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Mr Griffith for their sad loss. The entire responsibility for the death rests firmly with Freye.
"Our investigation focused on the management of the pursuit by the control room and found a case to answer.
"One of the key lessons was the control room operator did not draw it to the attention of his supervisor. Once the pursuit was recognised then it should have been stopped immediately as the vehicle and driver were not authorised.
"The early stage of a police pursuit is crucial and operators have a pivotal role to play with early actions and to immediately refer such matters to their supervisor — we have asked South Wales Police to review their pursuit training package for control room staff focusing on these aspects."
The chain of events which led to the death of Mr Griffith as he walked home from work began at round 2.50am on January 10 last year.Two police officers in a marked police Ford Focus signalled a blue Fiat Cinquecento driven by Freye to stop in Penarth Road, Cardiff.
The driver of the Fiat failed to stop and was pursued through the city centre to Cardiff Bay, where the car collided with Mr Griffith in James Street.
The father-of-one received serious injuries as a result of the collision and was taken to the University Hospital of Wales where he was later pronounced dead.
At Freyer's trial the court heard he had snorted 70 lines of cocaine and was in a state of "drug-induced psychosis" before getting behind the wheel.
The judge ordered him to serve a minimum term of 13 years.