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North Yorkshire Police Set Up New Serious Crash Investigation Team

Police 7

6:23am 23rd January 2014

North Yorkshire Police has established a Major Collision Investigation Team (MCIT) to centralise investigations into fatal and serious road collisions.

The unit’s work will help to free up local roads policing officers’ time, enabling them to return to patrolling the roads of North Yorkshire after dealing with the initial response to a serious collision.

The MCIT is based in Thirsk and includes a sergeant and six police constables led by a roads policing inspector.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: “North Yorkshire is the largest county in England with a very varied network of roads, presenting numerous challenges for the police and our road safety partners.

“Sadly, fatal and serious collisions are a major part of police work and require meticulous and intensive resourcing to enable us to obtain the appropriate outcome for victims and their families.

“This work can take up thousands of hours of police officers’ time. Having a dedicated resource for these investigations means that roads policing officers can get back onto the roads to carry out education, enforcement and preventative work.”

The team members have various backgrounds in policing and have been brought together to provide a range of skills and expertise to the unit, including roads policing, investigation skills, family liaison and interviewing vulnerable people.

The MCIT also work closely with the Collision Investigation Unit whose job it is to carry out a forensic examination of the scene of collisions, including mapping the area using laser scanners.

The team will focus on the investigation side of these collisions which are the most serious the force deals with. These investigations can be very lengthy and often involve dealing with very distraught and traumatised victims and witnesses.

Their work involves gathering evidence to determine the cause of collisions and to prosecute motorists who are at fault, interviewing suspects and witnesses, carrying out road checks, liaising with HM Coroner, the Crown Prosecution Service and the court service.

Inspector Mick Barron, who heads the MCIT, added: “Investigations into fatal and serious collisions can be lengthy, complicated and require specialist skills and knowledge.

“They can involve dealing with distraught families who have lost loved ones, witnesses who may have seen very distressing events and victims who have sustained life-changing injuries 

“The Major Collision Investigation Team members have a wide range of skills and experience which have been gained from various policing backgrounds to investigate these collisions and provide an expert service to North Yorkshire Police and our communities.

“The team will provide a constant, single point of contact and expert knowledge base for North Yorkshire Police as well as enabling local officers to get back out to patrolling the roads and trying to prevent collisions happening in the first place.” 

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, added: I very much welcome the establishment of this dedicated team, which aims to centralise investigations into major collisions and provide support to families and victims and expertise to ensure justice is done.

“As part of my job, I regularly talk with people affected by collisions, and see first-hand the distress they cause and the desire for answers and justice.

“By providing a single point of contact for roads policing, collision investigation and family liaison, this new team will help to free up roads policing officers to get back on the roads to help prevent these devastating and life-changing incidents in the first place.”

The implementation of the department has been phased in over the past few months and the team is now up and running and dealing with a number of tragic incidents, including the death of three Polish workers near Wharram le Street and the death of a pedestrian in Draughton near Skipton.

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