Police officer disciplined over Hungerford High Street crash probe failure
A POLICE blunder means no one can ever be charged over an horrific High Street car crash.
The Newbury Weekly News can reveal that the matter has been quietly shelved following an investigation into an officer’s conduct.
Last December a motorist crashed into Snippit’s Barbers at 59, High Street, causing immense structural damage and resulting in an ongoing traffic light system reportedly costing £9,000 per month.
Doorbell camera footage clearly shows the shocking incident but, following NWN enquiries, police said the case had been closed with no further action to be taken.
That prompted an outcry, with Dennis Benneyworth (Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) describing the incident as the ongoing “talk of the High Street”.
He said, as recently as this month’s full town council meeting on Monday, November 6, that police had given him assurances that the matter was being looked at again.
Town mayor Helen Simpson said: “Although they can’t give us absolute details, we need to know why a prosecution has not resulted from this case.”
The NWN can now reveal that, despite a much publicised investigation by police, the matter had been allowed to ‘time out’.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber, acknowledged public concern over the handling of the investigation.
And he revealed that police had conducted an investigation into the issue after it was referred to the force’s Professional Standards Department.
Mr Barber said: “Following the review by the Professional Standards Department it is clear that the failure to take action at the time has meant that the incident has now passed beyond the statutory time limit and so a prosecution is no longer possible.
“This is simply not good enough.
“Quite rightly, residents of Hungerford expect a better response from the police.”
He added: “Action has been taken against the officer responsible for this investigation and procedures have been improved to reduce the risk of similar delays in the future.”
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “Thames Valley Police were recently made aware of concerns surrounding an investigation into a road traffic collision in Hungerford High Street on December 13, 2022.
“A review into the matter has concluded and found that due to delays in the investigation, the statutory time limit had passed in relation to the incident and therefore proceedings into this cannot be continued.
“The officer in the case will be subject to reflective practice and their involvement in any future investigation will be strictly monitored.”