Mum’s battle after son, 18, killed in crash after ‘excessive’ police chase

A grieving mum is calling for an inquiry to halt the rising tide of people killed in police chases.

Eighteen-year-old carpenter Henry Hicks died when his moped hit a parked car as he was being tailed by cops.

His mum Dione spoke out as it was revealed the number of such deaths has hit a 15-year high.

Crashes involving police claimed the lives of 42 people last year, the highest toll since 2006, when 48 were killed.

Dione, 54, said: “It breaks my heart to think someone else could be going through what we have. It’s ­completely broken our family.

“Officers in pursuits must consider innocent victims and the devastating toll it takes on their families.”

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Police chased Henry in Islington, North London, in 2014 because they suspected he was dealing drugs. The teenager had been stopped and searched by officers 89 times in the previous three years but never charged.

His family launched a six-year fight for justice and last month the Met apologised for the first time for “excessive” and unlawful use of stop and search. The family have received compensation.

Others killed include ­newlyweds Patrick McDonagh, 19, and his pregnant wife Shauna, 18.

Officers chased them for ten minutes wrongly believing they had been involved in a house burglary.

The couple died in February last year when their car hit a bus on the A40 dual ­carriageway in Acton, West London. Last year cops wrote off 512 cars – leaving forces shelling out ­millions of pounds for replacements.

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And they paid out £2million compensation to people injured in crashes with police cars.

The figures come days after it emerged two officers called to last month’s Streatham terror attack are under investigation for alleged dangerous driving.

One officer was in a crash with two other cars which injured him and a ­member of the public. The pair have been placed on restricted duties and barred from driving police vehicles in a move that has angered colleagues.

Deborah Coles, director of justice watchdog INQUEST, said: “Police ­pursuit tactics must urgently be reviewed to ensure public safety is at the centre of every decision.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates incidents, said: “This increase is a cause for concern and we continue to talk to other agencies to try to identify underlying causes.”

Terry Woods, Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire and National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Police Driver Training, said: “When there is a risk to public safety it is important that police officers are able to get to the scene as soon as possible.

“It is also vital that we are able to pursue and apprehend offenders.

"This means that police cars may be damaged in the process, including in some cases through the use of tactical contact with other vehicles to prevent further harm to the public.”

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