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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Review of Police actions prior to an offending vehicle crashing

17 February 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into an incident in Oamaru where Police initially received a report of a vehicle being driven at high speed and in a dangerous manner in a rural area. A single officer responded to the traffic incident, travelling to the location to intercept the identified vehicle. When the offending vehicle failed to stop, the patrol unit pursued the fleeing driver from a distance, losing sight of the vehicle before it left the road in urban Oamaru and crashed, killing one of its occupants.

The Police investigation found the officer complied with Police driving policy at the time of the pursuit; however, Police should have abandoned the pursuit at an earlier opportunity when they lost sight of the offending vehicle approaching the built-up area of Oamaru. As a result of their investigation, Police identified several learning opportunities for the subject officer and communication staff involved to improve how they manage fleeing driver events in the future.

The Authority is satisfied with how the Police conducted their review of this incident and the outcomes they reached.

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