Harry Dunn case: Police chief ‘considering’ CCTV and stop and search at RAF base
A police chief is considering the use of CCTV and stop and search exercises at an RAF base after footage emerged of a driver on the wrong side of the road near where Harry Dunn was killed, the family’s spokesman has said.
Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley was reportedly “horrified and sickened” after the video, released by the PA news agency, showed a blue BMW involved in a near-miss close to RAF Croughton.
Radd Seiger, spokesman for the Dunn family, said the police chief, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom had all voiced concerns about the footage.
Mr Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.
The 42-year-old suspect, Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence official, claimed diplomatic immunity after the incident and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.
Mr Adderley is reportedly prepared to step up the safety measures if he is “not satisfied” after an urgent meeting with the base’s commander, Bridget McNamara.
Speaking about the reaction to the footage, Mr Seiger told PA: “I was astonished on Saturday how quickly the authorities got in touch with me.
“I was in touch with the Chief Constable, Nick Adderley, our MP, Andrea Leadsom, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
“Each of them were as horrified and sickened by what they saw, like I was, and we all discussed how important it was to take immediate action to bring this type of driving to an end quickly so that there is no further bloodshed.
“I was reassured by how seriously the matter was being taken after all these months.”
Addressing what each of the senior figures would do to tackle this issue, Mr Seiger said: “The Chief Constable is demanding an urgent meeting with the base commander, Bridget McNamara, to discuss immediate remedial steps.
“He indicated that if he was not satisfied with the outcome, he would be ensuring that his force would put up CCTV cameras around the base and undertake regular stop and search exercises at the exit to the base to ensure that the drivers coming off it knew what they were doing.
“Andrea Leadsom will follow that meeting up with the commander and the parents and I so that we can all input into a renewed safety plan which the parents will demand to see and be satisfied with – failing which the protests outside the base will continue.
“Patel and Raab are going to take the issues of diplomatic immunity and whether anyone has it on the base forward speedily, recognising that the concern is that the next tragedy may only be around the corner.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would raise concerns over the driving of US diplomatic staff at a world leaders’ summit in Berlin – including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The video, reported to Northamptonshire Police on Saturday, shows the car has what appears to be one of the registration numbers used on US government vehicles in the UK.
In a statement, Mr Adderley said: “I do not under-estimate how much of a concerning incident this was and how much worse it could have been, especially considering the circumstances in which 19-year-old Harry Dunn tragically died.”
Mr Johnson previously said that it was right to appeal for the extradition of Mrs Sacoolas, but that the chances of her returning were “very low”.
The US State Department has said the UK extradition request for Ms Sacoolas is highly inappropriate and would be an abuse.