Statement by police watchdog
A STATEMENT by the Independent Police Complaints Commission in relation to Mr Perrin's death said: "The Independent Police Complaints Commission independent investigation into police actions prior to David Perrin's death on January 22, 2012 after a road traffic incident concluded that there were no misconduct issues in officers not preventing him driving off. A member of the public called Devon and Cornwall Constabulary to report seeing two males staggering from a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the area of Moorview Terrace, Plymouth at about 4.10pm on January 22 and get into a white Astra van.
At about 5.35pm the same vehicle was reported as crashing on the A38 Parkway near Manadon, Plymouth. 29-year-old David Perrin sustained fatal injuries while the second man, who was the passenger in the van, sustained non-life threatening injuries.
The IPCC investigation found that a Police Community Support Officer responded to the request to attend the report of the drunk males in a vehicle but did not take action because she believed that police officers on the scene were already dealing with the report.
However, the police officers at the scene were already deployed on a firearms operation and they understood the PCSO would deal with the report of the two men in a White Astra van.
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IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: "My condolences go to Mr Perrin's family and friends for their loss. The public rightly expects the police to attend and deal with a report of a potential drink-driving offence and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary did action the call properly. However, a firearms operation in the immediate area the van was in led to some confusion. The firearms officers could not get involved with the incident involving Mr Perrin because of the operation they were dealing with. Our investigation found that the PCSO and PC misunderstood what each other would do with the report of two drunk men believed to be about to drive away. This was unfortunate but we found that on the balance of probabilities the two officers made an honest mistake in who they believed would take responsibility for the report involving Mr Perrin."