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The “road rage” police officer fled the scene of the accident

image caption, Peter Lawson was working as a police officer when he was involved in a collision but did not stop at the scene to exchange the necessary details

  • Author, Emma Grimshaw
  • Role, BBC News, West of England

A former Wiltshire police officer who was involved in a collision but failed to stop at the scene would have been sacked had he not resigned, a commission has found.

Peter Lawson was also accused at a misconduct hearing of being involved in an off-duty road rage incident and making an inappropriate comment about a fellow police officer.

An misconduct chairman has concluded that the actions of former PC Peter Lawson amounted to serious misconduct.

Dep Ch Con Craig Dibdin said: “We expect officers to reflect the highest standards of conduct while carrying out their duties and on this occasion Lawson’s actions fell well short of the public’s expectations.”

Road rage

On the morning of 7 December 2022, PC Lawson was driving a blue light police van along the A4 Avenue La Fleche in Chippenham when he was involved in a collision with another vehicle.

He did not stop at the scene to provide the necessary details. Lawson was then forcibly suspended and later resigned.

He appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on November 13, where he denied the offense of failing to stop at the scene of a collision but was found guilty.

His license was endorsed with five points and he was fined £600 for driving without due care and attention. He also had to pay £775 to the Crown Prosecution Service and a £480 victim surcharge.

At a misconduct hearing in Devizes, an independent, legally qualified chairman considered four charges against Lawson.

These were; was involved in an off-duty road rage incident, made an inappropriate and disrespectful comment about a fellow police officer and used a vehicle in a police operation that he was told not to use. The charges, as well as the accident incident, were all upheld and Lawson’s conduct was found to amount to gross misconduct.

“Lawson’s actions are illegal”

Dep Ch Con Craig Dibdin said: “Lawson’s actions were not only gross misconduct but unlawful.

“There is no place in our organization for anyone who behaves in this way and we encourage all members of the force to use an anonymous reporting tool if they have concerns about the behavior of colleagues.”