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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Pursuit in Wellington District should have been abandoned

26 January 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police critical incident review of a pursuit in the Wellington District where a driver with a stolen car rammed into the pursuing Police car on several occasions.

The review found that the officers should have considered how their presence affected the fleeing driver and that the pursuit had become unsafe for themselves and the public at large. The review finds that pursuit should have been abandoned. The Authority agrees with that and thinks that it should have been abandoned after the initial ramming of the Police vehicle.

The review also found that relevant information was not communicated to the Police communications dispatcher, who incorrectly advised the rammed Police vehicle to continue as the lead pursuit vehicle. The direction, which required officers to drive an unsafe vehicle, did not align with Police's core principle of keeping people safe.

The Authority is satisfied that Police have undertaken an employment process with the parties involved and that the officers have learned the appropriate lessons from the incident.

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