THE police watchdog is investigating the circumstances of a road traffic incident in Stockbridge in which a man died, following a pursuit involving Hampshire and Thames Valley police officers.

At around 11pm on January 30, police were pursuing a silver Ford Transit Connect on the A343 when it left the carriageway and came to rest in a field.

The driver, Robert Archer, aged 40, of Hythe, was confirmed dead at the scene by paramedics.

After the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) were notified by Hampshire Constabulary, the watchdog sent investigators to the scene and police post incident procedure to begin gathering information.

The IOPC declared an independent investigation on February 2.

IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “Our thoughts are with the Mr Archer’s family and friends, and all those affected by this incident.

“We have contacted his family to explain our role and how our inquiries will progress.

“There is a mandatory requirement for forces to refer to us incidents like this which result in death or serious injury and our investigation will thoroughly examine the circumstances of the police involvement, including whether appropriate policies and procedures were followed.”

So far, the IOPC has gathered initial accounts from the officers involved and have started to review police body-worn video footage, dashcam footage and CCTV from the area.

An inquest has been opened and adjourned by HM Coroner and the preliminary findings of post-mortem examination were that Mr Archer died as a result of the crash.