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Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes facing probe over car insurance after Dartford crash, according to Mail on Sunday report

Kent crime commissioner Ann Barnes has refused to say whether she had valid car insurance when she was involved in a car crash in Dartford.

The commissioner is facing an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into claims about her insurance.

Asked by the KM Group today whether or not the commissioner had a valid insurance policy at the time of the incident, her office refused to say.

Crime commissioner Ann Barnes
Crime commissioner Ann Barnes

Her spokesman said there would be no additional comment beyond the initial statement which simply confirmed that an investigation was underway.

The IPCC, which will determine whether there is any criminal case to answer, also declined to go into detail about the inquiry. In a statement, it said:

"The IPCC received a referral from the Kent Police and Crime Panel on Friday 26 September.

"The IPCC will now make a detailed assessment of the referral to determine if and how the allegations should be investigated."

The commissioner's soft top Mercedes collided with another car and then ploughed into a tree on her way to a meeting.

Kent police commissioner Ann Barnes
Kent police commissioner Ann Barnes

If she is found guilty of any insurance charge, she could be fined £300 and hit with six penalty points on her licence.

It is the latest incident in a series of mishaps that have led to criticism of the commissioner.

If true, Mrs Barnes, 69, will also face a probe by the police watchdog for alleged misconduct in a public office, as she was on official business when the accident took place.

The crash left her with only minor injuries and she later tweeted: "Not feeling too bright today, but OK."

Asked what had happened, she replied to one person: "Hit an unforgiving tree! Shaken, sore and bruised, but thankfully OK."

Ann Barnes
Ann Barnes

Kent Police said: "No one has been charged or cautioned in relation to the collision. Inquiries are ongoing."

A spokesman for Mrs Barnes said: "We can confirm that the chair of the PCC was made aware of a referral from Kent Police following an investigation into a collision in Princes Road, Dartford.

"The matter was passed to the monitoring officer at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC)for further consideration. The monitoring officer has subsequently referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

"Due to the referral, the OPCC cannot comment any further at this stage."

Police managed traffic following the crash - just after 3.30pm on September 16 -which blocked one lane of Princes Road for abut two hours.

After the incident Mrs Barnes said in a statement on her website that she was "shaken, but not seriously injured."

She also thanked people for their good wishes following the crash.

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