The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published its report today on a road traffic incident involving Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes.
It was in September 2014, that Mrs Barnes was involved in a road traffic incident (RTI) with another car in Princes Road, Dartford. A check on her insurance details revealed that the car was insured and registered in her husband’s name, that she was a named driver, and the policy related to social, domestic and pleasure use only.
At the time Mrs Barnes reported that she had just visited the Kent Police Safety Shop at Bluewater shopping centre and was on her way to a meeting at Dartford Borough Council.
The IPCC report noted that Mrs Barnes’ insurance policy “only covered her for social domestic and pleasure purposes including commuting to and from a permanent place of business. There was considerable confusion as to whether Mrs Barnes was covered; either to the extent of third party risks or under a commuting clause”.
Today’s report follows the CPS ruling in February that it had not been provided with sufficient evidence which would be fundamental to considering the matter in terms of alleged criminality stating “Although some further investigation might assist in determining whether there would be sufficient evidence to prosecute this matter, we are not advising that any further enquiries take place as in any event we consider that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute.”
The IPPC also noted that “she may have driven the Mercedes for business purposes without adequate insurance on multiple occasions”, but that the “investigation has not been able to obtain evidence from any other source to identify which vehicle she was driving on any specific occasion other than on the day of the incident”.
The report concluded that “there is evidence upon which the IPCC Commissioner could determine that an offence of using motor vehicle without insurance on 16 September 2014, contrary to The Road Traffic Act 1998, may have been committed by Mrs Barnes”
In her response to the report Mrs Barnes said “This issue was dealt with last February when the CPS, having reviewed the evidence supplied by the IPCC, took the independent decision not to charge me”. She concluded “I have fully co-operated with the IPCC’s lengthy investigation, and I am pleased that the matter has finally been resolved.”