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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police pursuit and apprehension justified

4 November 2015

The Independent Police Conduct Authority released a report today finding that Christchurch Police were justified in their pursuit and apprehension of three men.

In the early hours of 30 October 2014, Police commenced a pursuit of a vehicle they observed driving erratically. The pursuit lasted 24 minutes and was abandoned three times due to the dangerous manner of driving.

Police stopped the vehicle and used Tasers and a Police dog to extract the three occupants. The Police dog bit one of the vehicle’s passengers.

The Authority’s report found that Police were justified in:

• commencing the pursuit;

• ramming the fleeing driver’s vehicle; and

• using Tasers and a Police dog to apprehend the occupants, due to the danger they posed.

The Authority found that Police generally complied with Police policy in relation to risk assessment, communication and speed and manner of driving during the pursuit. However some aspects of the Police’s communication of risk factors could have been improved.

Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers, said: “The current policy governing the pursuit of fleeing drivers is highly prescriptive, and police officers faced with the need to make quick decisions in a pursuit situation sometimes find it difficult to comply with all aspects of that policy.”

The Authority notes that Police have been undertaking a review of the fleeing driver policy, and expect a new policy to be adopted shortly. 

Summary Report (PDF, 504 KB) 

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