Gwent Police officer served with misconduct notice over fatal crash
A Gwent Police officer has been served with a misconduct notice in relation to a crash that claimed the lives of three people.
Eve Smith and Darcy Ross, both 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, were found dead at the scene of the incident on the A48 in the St Mellons area of Cardiff, South Wales, in March, almost 48 hours after they were all last seen.
Passengers Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, who were seriously injured, were also found with the Volkswagen Tiguan they had been travelling in.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which has been investigating the force’s actions after missing persons reports were filed by the group’s family members, said the notice concerns the officer’s review of the missing persons logs and relevant risk assessments.
The watchdog said it is also considering whether the age of the missing persons affected the officer’s decision-making.
It added that the notice only advises the officer that they are under investigation and does not necessarily mean disciplinary proceedings will follow.
IOPC director David Ford said: “We have gathered a significant amount of evidence since our investigation began and we will ensure that our investigation continues to be thorough and timely.
“While we are investigating an officer for potential misconduct, it is only at the end of our investigation, once we have established all the facts, that we will make a decision as to whether the officer has any case to answer.”
The group were discovered just after midnight on Monday March 6, 46 hours after the last contact from them.
The families of Ms Smith, Ms Ross and Ms Russon had all reported them missing on the evening of Saturday March 4.
The IOPC said it aims to establish whether the actions or inactions of both Gwent and South Wales Police contributed to the deaths and serious injuries.
As well as looking into how police and control room staff dealt with the reports and whether they were appropriately risk-assessed, the watchdog said it is also assessing whether what happened was in line with the legislation, policies and guidance regarding missing persons, and all communication between the police and the families before the car was found.
Evidence continues to be gathered from all police personnel involved, and internal communications, along with CCTV from relevant police stations, are being reviewed, the IOPC added.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.