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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police car collision while ‘Urgent Duty Driving’

21 May 2018

At about 3.50am on 6 November 2016, a Police officer was urgently driving to a robbery where a firearm was thought to be present. He activated his patrol car’s emergency red and blue lights but not his siren. The officer intended to make a ‘tactical approach’ to the incident and did not want to alert the offender.

As the officer drove through a red light at an intersection he sounded his car horn. However he did not see a civilian car had entered the intersection from another direction. He crashed into the car. No one was injured.

The Police notified the IPCA about this incident and undertook a criminal investigation which the IPCA reviewed at its conclusion.

Police decided that the officer had not driven in accordance with the Police ‘Urgent Duty Driving’ policy as he failed to ensure his driving did not place undue risk on any other member of the public.

The officer was charged with careless driving, pleaded guilty and was ultimately discharged without conviction by the court.

Police also undertook an employment investigation which concluded the officer’s actions were an “error in judgement”. The officer received a disciplinary sanction.

The IPCA agreed with the outcomes and actions taken in response to this matter.

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