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Police launch crash investigation team

PUBLISHED: 11:57 06 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:36 03 July 2010

A NEW crash investigation team has been set up by Norfolk Police to improve road safety in the county.

To date, road policing officers have been responsible for carrying out investigations following road traffic collisions.

A NEW crash investigation team has been set up by Norfolk Police to improve road safety in the county.

To date, road policing officers have been responsible for carrying out investigations following road traffic collisions.

But from today the Serious Crash Investigation Team will now carry out investigations and follow-up work, allowing road traffic officers to continue their patrols across Norfolk.

Chief Inspector Stuart Offord, who established the team, said: “The initial response to any collision, including those that lead to the most serious or fatal injuries, will continue to be provided by frontline officers.

“The change will be around the follow-up work after the scene has been cleared. This type of collision is one of the most tragic events that anyone connected with it is likely to experience.

“Our emphasis will continue to be on reducing collisions but when they do happen we aim to provide the best possible level of investigation to find out why and what we can do to prevent a recurrence.”

The team is made up of six full-time police officers, all with road policing experience. There were 51 fatal collisions across the county in 2007/08 leading to a total of 765 statements being taken from witnesses - nearly 60 of whom lived outside the county.

As well as collating statements, officers gather other evidence such as the layout and condition of the road and vehicles concerned, and information on tyre or other marks at the scene.

Chief Inspector Offord added: “Part of the work of the Serious Crash Investigation Team will be to ensure this evidence is gathered and presented to its fullest extent.

The aim is to create a 'one stop shop' for serious and fatal collisions to ensure that knowledge and expertise is pooled for the benefit of victims and their families as well as the various agencies we report to.”

Road policing teams now operate out of Wymondham, Acle and Swaffham and the ultimate aim is to move to two purpose-built bases at King's Lynn and Norwich - close to major roads.

Chief Inspector Offord said: “Whilst the four previous bases served us well, the impact meant the road policing officers were spread too thinly. By eventually moving to two road policing bases we can ensure that officers are properly briefed before they leave the station. This also enables officers the opportunity to share their expertise in a way that only having a handful of staff in one location cannot provide.”


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