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Police watchdog slams Kent police over investigation in to cyclist's death

Independent Police Complaints Commission orders review in to investigation that didn't start until 30 hours after rider's death...

Kent Police has been ordered to review its investigation into the 2011 death of a cyclist after an internal report revealed a series of inadequacies, but concluded that the investigation had been carried out correctly overall.

Following a complaint from the family of Richard Jordan, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has told the Kent force it must review their concerns.

Richard Jordan died after coming off his bike and fracturing his skull on November 24, 2011 near his home in Old Wives Lees, Kent. He was taken to hospital but died later the same day.

Kent police were not notified until 30 hours after the crash and decided before visiting the scene or interviewing any witnesses that no other vehicle had been involved.

That assessment was wrong, the force admits. Four days later, police took a statement from a driver who had  made an emergency call from the scene of Mr Jordan's crash. In that call a couple could be heard arguing about whether their car had hit  him.

According to the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2583277/Widows-fury-police-said-..., other errors detailed in the report include:

Forensic evidence was lost when a bag containing Mr Jordan's clothes was left open.
Officers seized Mr Jordan's bicycle but not the car whose occupants dialled 999, which had a dent on the front.
The officer who made this decision was not a fully qualified forensic collision investigator at the time.
The car was declared a write-off six months after the bike crash, and police only found out because Mr Jordan's family checked its status online.

An inquest found that his death was an accident, but Mr Jordan's widow Sue, 66 and his children Neil, 46, Emma, 43, and Paul, 40, have persistently criticised the police enquiry.

Sue Jordan said: "We feel angry and helpless and I will not stop until we get some form of justice.

"Every day I relive that day and I just can't get it out of my head. Because we have no answers and we can't piece together what happened. I can't let it go. It's taken over my life."

Her son Neil said: "The police just haven't listened to us. In my mind all the facts point to him being hit. They completely failed to do some basic policing and it makes you wonder what else could have not been picked up."

Kent Police's internal report concluded that the investigation had generally been carried out properly. A Kent police spokesman told the Mail: "The review's conclusion was that the investigation was carried out correctly. However, Kent Police notes that there are administrative areas which can be learned from and added to procedures in our best practice guide."

Now the Independent Police Complaints Commission has ordered Kent police to review their investigation, according to ITV News. The IPCC says the police must explain why they did not seize the car from which the 999 call was made, why they examined a vehicle just once, by torchlight, and whether the unqualified investigating officer was properly supervised.

The Cyclists' Defence Fund has been assisting the Jordan family. After being contacted by the family, CDF wrote to all police and ambulance services urging them to ensure future cycling collisions were reported immediately to the police. Kent's ambulance service has modified its procedures.

Rhia Weston of the CDF told road.cc: "Kent police's investigation of Richard Jordan's death was bungled from the start because they weren't called out to attend the crash scene by the ambulance service and only attended 30 hours later.

"Kent police made several other blunders and the Jordan family have been fighting tenaciously for the truth to come out about how Richard died and how Kent police messed up their investigation. I'm really glad that the IPCC has upheld the family's complaint and hope that those responsible for bungling the investigation are held to account."

"All collisions that end in injury or death should be investigated to a high standard and CTC is calling for this as part of our Road Justice campaign, but this can only be achieved if officers are fully trained in collision investigation and if roads policing is properly resourced."

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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