A police officer who hit a Camborne schoolgirl while responding to an incident in January last year was driving below force standards, an investigation has found.

A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found agreement with Devon and Cornwall Police that the officer's driving fell what is expected by force policy.

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016 a marked, single-crewed Ford Focus police car was involved in a collision with 12 year-old Leeta Rossi, who was crossing the road in Trevenson Street.

She sustained serious head injuries, and has since made a significant recovery but is still receiving medical treatment.

The police officer was on the way to an immediate response domestic violence incident when the collision occurred at around 8am on a 30mph road.

A collision investigation report found the girl would have been visible to the officer for at least 75 metres. The report found that at the time of his reaction, when about 14 metres away from the girl, the police car was travelling at around 45 mph. After he applied the brake, the vehicle had slowed to around 35 mph at the time of the collision.

Evidence gathered during the IPCC investigation showed the car’s blue flashing lights were illuminated but the sidelights, siren and headlights were not on. Due to the time of day, the sidelights were obligatory but there was no legal obligation for the car’s headlamps to be on as the street lights were lit.

In the lead investigator’s opinion, the police officer had a case to answer for misconduct for failing to drive at a speed which permitted him to stop safely, contrary to the force’s policy on the driving of police vehicles in an emergency.

The IPCC sent its report to Devon and Cornwall Police which determined there was no case to answer for misconduct, but agreed the officer’s driving had fallen below the level of performance required and proposed he would receive management action.

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “This was a distressing incident for all involved and I am pleased to hear of the girl’s recovery.

“The officer’s driving fell below the level of performance expected when assessed against the force’s policy. I accepted the force’s determination that the officer should face management action which included a three-month performance plan to ensure that lessons are learned from this unfortunate accident.”