A WEST Yorkshire Police officer who pursued a vehicle without proper authorisation has been given a written warning following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

Misconduct was found against PC Stuart Hodson after a three-day hearing that concluded on Wednesday, 20 January.

The IOPC launched an independent investigation in June 2019 after a man suffered serious injuries following a road traffic incident on Colarado Way, Castleford.

The investigation found that PC Hodson - who was driving a police van, a vehicle not authorised to conduct police pursuits - activated his blue lights and began pursuing a BMW car.

It was reported that the BMW then crashed into a roundabout, and the driver then exited the car and fled.

PC Hodson saw the man fleeing and drove his van closer in order to get nearer to him and detain him on foot. At this point, it was reported, his police van collided with the man, causing him injuries.

On conclusion of the investigation in December 2019, the IOPC referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service, which decided not to proceed with charges.

West Yorkshire Police accepted the IOPC's recommendation that a case to answer threshold was met for potential gross misconduct, and that a hearing should take place with an independent disciplinary panel.

The panel subsequently found PC Hodson had no case to answer for use of force, but misconduct was found for unauthorised use of a police van during a pursuit.

PC Hodson was issued with a written warning.

IOPC Regional Director Miranda Biddle said: “We are aware that road traffic incidents are a significant area of public concern in our region. We also recognise that West Yorkshire Police officers undertake a challenging role, however it is the IOPC’s role to independently ensure that the correct procedures are followed when the police pursue a vehicle and a member of the public has received an injury.

"On this occasion the officer was found not to have acted within the force’s procedures and has received a written warning.”