Crime tsar’s ‘unreserved apology’ after reversing car into bollard in Leeds

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson . Picture : Adrian Murray. (1307163AM2)
Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson . Picture : Adrian Murray. (1307163AM2)
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West Yorkshire’s crime commissioner has issued an “unreserved apology” after reversing his car into a bollard while attending an event in Leeds.

Mark Burns-Williamson is understood to have damaged the bollard during a visit to a local police base on land owned by the University of Leeds.

Mark Burns Williamson's car, a high-powered Audi

Mark Burns Williamson's car, a high-powered Audi

He said later that he “did not realise I had done so until the matter was brought to my attention shortly afterwards”.

The Labour police and crime commissioner was spoken to officers from West Yorkshire Police, whose force he scrutinises as part of his £100,000 a year role. After an investigation it was concluded that no criminal action had taken place.

Mr Burns-Williamson told The Yorkshire Post: “On Friday 2 October I attended an event in Leeds where I reversed into a bollard. I did not realise I had done so until the matter was brought to my attention shortly afterwards.

“I have since spoken to West Yorkshire Police who investigated the matter and concluded no criminal action had taken place. I would like to reiterate my unreserved apology to the owners of the car park for any inconvenience caused.”

West Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “West Yorkshire Police is aware of a report of damage to a bollard on Leeds University premises, which occurred last Friday.

“After a review of this incident, which occurred on private land, it was established that no further Police action was required. Full details of the incident have been provided to the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner.”

It emerged last year that Mr Burns-Williamson uses a high-powered Audi A4 as a ‘pool’ vehicle after it was seized from a drug-dealer. The silver car is eight years old and would have cost £25,000 when new.

The incident on Friday has echoes of one involving former Shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who was fined £900 and given five penalty points last year for failing to stop after a car crash in West Yorkshire.

The former Morley and Outwood MP, who lost his seat in May, drove off after hitting a parked car next to Morley’s Labour Unity Club on 5 April, 2014.

Mr Balls, who did not contest the charge, said previously he was unaware he had damaged the other vehicle.