Strathclyde police apologise to family of 14-year-old accident victim

Senior officer complies with order made by Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland

by Simon_MacMichael   May 5, 2010  

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Strathclyde Police have formally apologised to the parents of a 14-year-old cyclist for their handling of the investigation into the accident that killed him in 2003.

As we reported on Monday, the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland, John McNeill, upheld six of 20 complaints lodged against the police force by Alan and Joyce Beasley, whose son Sam was killed when he was hit by a car on the island of Arran.

In his report, Mr McNeill said: "Whilst Strathclyde Police has clearly acknowledged failings in how the incident was handled, its responses to the applicants were sometimes characterised with partial justifications for the action taken.”

He continued: "As such, the commissioner has recommended that Strathclyde Police issue a final, unreserved, apology to the applicants for these failings."

In a statement reported by BBC News, Chief Superintendent John Pollok, who is head of professional standards at Strathclyde Police, said: "The comments and recommendations contained within the review are currently being considered by the force.

"However, it is accepted that in those areas where the commissioner has concluded that the complaints were not dealt with reasonably, we will ensure our policies, processes and practice are amended so that current and future complaints will be handled appropriately.

"Strathclyde Police apologises for any distress that has been caused to Sam Beasley's family."

Chief Superintendent Pollock said that Strathclyde police had made a number of improvements to procedure as a result of its investigation, adding: "The force readily acknowledges that these improvements will be of little comfort to the family of Sam Beasley, and therefore once we have had the opportunity to consider all the detail of the commissioner's report, we will communicate with the family directly so that they are aware of the changes that have taken place in light of their experience and the subsequent complaint they have made."