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Met pursuit found to be 'appropriate' prior to death at railway station

The IOPC found that the Met officers acted appropriately and in line with driving and pursuit policies.

Met officers acted appropriately during the pursuit of a man who subsequently died at a railway station, the IOPC has found.

Jafur Saker, 32, died on April 20, 2021 after he came into contact with an electrified railway line at Hounslow Railway Station. He had exited a vehicle that was being pursued by the officers.

An inquest which concluded last week found that his death was caused by misadventure.

The pursuit began shortly after midnight on April 20, after officers attempted to stop a vehicle in Whitton which was suspected of having false number plates.

The plates were registered to a grey Mercedes vehicle and the suspect's vehicle was a black Audi. Mr Saker was the sole occupant of the vehicle which failed to stop for police who continued to pursue it.

At approximately 12:15am, Mr Saker exited the Audi before it collided with a metal railing outside the entrance to Hounslow Railway Station. He ran into the station and jumped down onto the railway tracks where he came into contact with an electrified line and died.

The inquest jury concluded that the pursuit was proportionate and that the officers complied with pursuit and driving policies.

The IOPC investigation, which finished in September 2021, found no indication that any officer involved committed a criminal offence or had behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings.

However, the regulatory body did find that the performance of one officer fell below the expected standard after they made an “inappropriate remark” after Mr Saker came into contact with the railway line.

The IOPC has said the officer should undergo reflective practice.

There was also an unnecessary delay in when Mr Saker’s family was informed; deemed a failing in service for which the force has since apologised.

IOPC Director Amanda Rowe said: “Our thoughts remain with Mr Saker’s family and friends following their loss. We completed a thorough investigation to establish the circumstances surrounding the force’s contact with Mr Saker prior to his death.

"While the pursuit of the vehicle was appropriate in the circumstances, the comments made by an officer at the scene were of concern and have been addressed through the reflective practice process.

"We acknowledge that the force has apologised for the delays in informing Mr Saker’s family about his death, which could only have caused them further distress.”  

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