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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Home / Outcomes / 2022 Summaries of Police Investigations

Investigation of fleeing driving event involving a ‘non-compliant vehicle stop’

10 March 2022

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a fleeing driver event in southern district. Police received several reports of a vehicle driving dangerously. Police initially tried to speak with the driver when the vehicle was located, but he drove off when officers approached his vehicle nearly causing a collision with a truck. Officers made additional inquiries and determined the driver was under the influence of alcohol, disqualified from driving and subject to a bail condition ‘not to drive a motor vehicle’.

Police believed it was necessary to apprehend the driver without undue delay due to the risks his driving posed. Therefore, they deployed road spikes at strategic locations. During this time Police received further reports about the driver from concerned motorists.

After the vehicle was successfully spiked, the driver continued trying to evade arrest by ramming two Police cars. The officer driving the second car responded by pinning the offender’s vehicle against a road barrier using his Police car, forcing the vehicle to a gradual stop. The driver was arrested without injury.

Police policy only permits specially trained staff with prior authorisation to use Police cars to physically stop a fleeing vehicle. The officer who conducted the manoeuvre was neither trained nor authorised to do so.

Police determined that although the officer’s actions were outside Policy this was an exceptional situation where the driver posed an extreme and imminent risk to those around him independent of any Police presence, where the officer had to make a quick decision after his vehicle was rammed. Police considered the officer was legally justified in using his Police car in self-defence and to effect the arrest in the circumstances.

The Authority agreed with the conclusions of the Police investigation and the subsequent action taken by Police to debrief all officers involved.

IPCA: 21-8855

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