he Met must clarify its blue light policy after an officer fatally crashed into a charity worker while chasing a suspect without his siren or lights on, a coroner has said.
PC Daniel Francis crashed into 23-year-old Andrew Brown Hounslow on Bonfire Night 2019, traveling at 61 mph to catch the suspect. He swerved and braked but was driving too fast to avoid hitting Mr Brown as he crossed the road.
Francis was spared jail at the Old Bailey trial but was later released from custody.
An inquest into Mr Brown’s death found there were “inadequacies” in the Met’s training and policy regarding the use of blue lights and sirens at night.
In a report published on Monday, assistant coroner for West London, Dr Anton van Deulen, recommended that Scotland Yard make changes to its vehicle policy and make exclusions clearer following the fatal crash.
The Preventing Future Deaths report said: “The jury’s findings were that the police policy was inadequate in that the policy did not make sufficient reference to other road users and pedestrians and their safety, and the policy was also too open to interpretation , both of which may have contributed to the death.”
The force now has 56 days to respond to the coroner to set out how it is going to prevent similar deaths in the future.
Mr Brown had only been in the Ministry of Defense for two months when he suffered a fatal head injury in an accident.
Another man, who was also hit by a police car, escaped serious injury.
Speaking at a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey, Mr Brown’s mother, Isabelle Brown, told the court how her son had worked with children with special needs in America and had ambitions to get a job in national disaster relief.
She said in a tribute: “He was a unique combination of smart, kind and incredibly artistic.”
Francis told officers he didn’t activate his lights and siren because he didn’t want to alert the suspect. Earlier this year, he was given a 12-month suspended sentence.
A Met the police A spokesman said: “We are aware of the outcome of the investigation and would like to extend our thoughts and sympathies to the family and friends of Mr Brown.
“We thank the jury and the coroner for their detailed and thorough review of this incident.
“Any death following police contact is a tragedy and as an organization we are determined to learn lessons where possible.”
A spokesman said the investigator was satisfied there was no need to make specific guidance on driver training as it had been improved since the incident and that the force would review other guidance.