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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police pursuit in Waikato District found to have breached policy

23 December 2019

On 13 September 2018 in Hamilton, Police commenced a pursuit of a vehicle that had failed to stop when signalled to do so. The pursuit was later abandoned because the fleeing driver's dangerous driving created risks to the public. Later a number of Police vehicles entered a no-exit street in an attempt to locate the fleeing driver and permission was given to set up road spikes. The fleeing vehicle managed to exit the street and crossed into an intersection and collided with a private vehicle, killing a passenger in that vehicle. The fleeing driver was subsequently convicted of numerous driving offences and sentenced to 4 years and six months imprisonment and disqualified from driving.

Police undertook a District Practice Review of the incident and identified a number of breaches of the Police Fleeing Driver policy which were addressed with the staff members involved.

Since this tragedy, the Authority and the Police have released a collaborative review of fleeing drivers and a number of recommendations are currently being worked on to enhance the response and management of risks during Police pursuits.

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