The Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation into the death of a 27-year-old man who was involved in a collision with a Sussex Police vehicle has gathered a substantial amount of evidence.
Arthur Holscher-Ermert was on foot when the collision happened on the A259 South Coast Road at about 11.10pm on Saturday 30 April. Sadly, he was confirmed dead at the scene a short time later.
The IOPC have now advised the driver of the unmarked police car which Mr Holscher-Ermert was in collision with, that he is under criminal investigation for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.
A criminal investigation does not necessarily mean that charges will follow. At the end of the investigation we will decide whether to refer a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether the officer should be prosecuted.
The officer, a police constable, will also be investigated for potential gross misconduct.
A Spokes for the IOPC say their investigation following a mandatory referral on the night from Sussex Police and the information we have gathered so far indicates that before the collision Mr Holscher-Ermert was driving an Audi which was being pursued by a police car after it came to the attention of officers conducting an operation in the Newhaven and Peacehaven area.
It’s understand that the short pursuit ended in Bramber Avenue, where Mr Holscher-Ermert left the Audi and was struck moments later by a different police vehicle.
IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Holscher-Ermert’s family, and with everyone else who was involved in this tragic incident and has been affected by his death.
“We have provided his family with an update into the progress of our investigation and we will be meeting with them soon.
“As well as investigating the collision we are also examining the events leading up to it and police actions in the immediate aftermath.
“It is important we establish why Mr Holscher-Ermert was being pursued by the police including what, if any, information the police had about him or the vehicle he was driving.
“We will also consider whether the actions of officers afterwards were in line with policy and procedure. This will include looking at the aftercare given to him. We are aware of reports handcuffs were applied to Mr Holscher-Ermert at the scene and this will form part of our investigation.
“We understand the concern this incident has caused in the community and I would like to reassure everyone that we will carry out a thorough and independent investigation to establish exactly what happened and why.”
Our investigators have reviewed dashcam footage from a member of the public who was driving in the area when it happened. We are analysing that along with footage from the police car involved in the collision. Body worn video has been gathered from officers who arrived at the scene.
We have been in the area to locate any other CCTV footage that might be available, and to carry out house to house inquiries to identify any witnesses.
The IOPC is still appealing for anyone with information that may assist our investigators to come forward and talk to us. We would also like to hear from anyone with mobile phone or other footage they may have recorded that may be relevant. Anyone with information is urged to call 0300 3035612 or email [email protected] as soon as possible.
A post mortem examination was taking place today (Thursday 5 May).