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Home / Publications and Media / 2019 media releases

Collaborative review of fleeing driver events highlights areas for change by Police

15 March 2019

Embedding a risk-averse mind-set in Police staff is one of the keys to the safe management of fleeing driver events, says Judge Colin Doherty, Chair of the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

A new report released today, Fleeing Drivers in New Zealand: a collaborative review of events, practices, and procedures, is the first time the Authority and Police have jointly conducted a review of the fleeing driver environment and the application of existing policy. The report endorses the current policy approach to fleeing driver events but highlights eight recommendations to enhance Police understanding and application of the policy, including changes to the way these events are handled, the training given to officers and the way the events are recorded and investigated. Additionally, it highlights the need for further research to understand why some drivers flee.

"It is clear the training Police currently receive does not adequately prepare them for these complex and dynamic events," says Judge Doherty

"However, the existing restrictive policy can provide the necessary balance between public safety and public protection in pursuits, if Police officers understand it and apply it properly."

"Ensuring officers are equipped to make good decisions when assessing risk and providing training which reinforces a risk-averse mind-set, is critical to ensuring the safety of the public, officers and offenders.

"I am pleased that Police agreed to the Authority's request to conduct a joint review, as existing practice has been for the Police and the Authority to investigate pursuits separately. This collaborative approach has allowed us to undertake a more detailed analysis enabling both organisations, key stakeholders and the public to better understand the fleeing driver environment."

The Authority will independently and regularly monitor the implementation of the recommendations. The results of the monitoring will be reported in the Authority's Annual Reports to Parliament.

Public Report
Fleeing Drivers in New Zealand - a collaborative review of events, practices, and procedures (PDF 1,645 KB)

Audio from Judge Doherty

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