Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Fatal pursuit of Harley Wilson and Michael Keepa


MEDIA STATEMENT

28 September 2012

EMBARGOED 10.00am

Fatal pursuit of Harley Wilson and Michael Keepa

An independent investigation of a fatal Police pursuit in Te Puke in October 2010 has found Police were justified in initially trying to stop the driver but should have subsequently abandoned the pursuit because of a number of risk factors.

At around 5.34am on Friday 8 October 2010, a stolen Toyota Hilux Surf 4x4 vehicle driven by Harley Kendrick Sean Wilson crashed on Jellicoe Street in Te Puke while fleeing Police. Mr Wilson, aged 21, and his passenger, Michael Adam Kaui Keepa, aged 25, both died at the scene.

The pursuit lasted for about 17 and a half minutes, and covered a distance of about 38.5 kilometres. It took place in three stages and involved an attempted use of road spikes during the first stage.

Background

Mr Wilson and Mr Keepa had stolen the vehicle from Levin and driven to the Bay of Plenty to visit family and friends. The pursuit started in Mt Maunganui when officers saw the vehicle pull over as it approached a traffic alcohol checkpoint and suspected the driver was trying to avoid Police.

Mr Wilson drove off at speed and was pursued by two Police vehicles from Mt Maunganui to Papamoa Beach, where he swerved to avoid road spikes. Police abandoned the pursuit.

However it was recommenced about one and half minutes later when another Police vehicle spotted the fleeing driver heading south towards Te Puke. A fourth Police vehicle then joined as the pursuit entered its third stage. As they reached Te Puke the Police vehicles were travelling 135 kph in a 50 kph zone. Officers had earlier reached a speed of up to 160 kph in a 100 kph zone.

Mr Wilson lost control of the Toyota at a corner and crashed down a grass bank into a lamp post and tree. A crash investigator estimated he was travelling at least 110 kph in a 50 kph zone. A blood sample showed Mr Wilson had 7 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams. 2


The Authority considered whether Police complied with the law and pursuit policy at each stage of the pursuit, specifically in relation to: the commencement and recommencement of the pursuit; communication; speed and manner of driving; and the ongoing risk assessment/abandonment.
The Authority also investigated whether Police complied with policy in relation to the use of road spikes, specifically in relation to: the pre-deployment vehicle check; the decision to use road spikes; selection of the deployment site; and the actual deployment.

Conclusions

Harley Wilson demonstrated by his actions that he was prepared to risk his life and the lives of others to avoid being caught by Police.

Officers were justified in attempting to stop Mr Wilson. They later discovered he was also driving a stolen vehicle. Although Police did consider the risks involved at each stage of the pursuit, these risk assessments did not properly take into account the sustained high speed of the fleeing vehicle, particularly on roads with 50-70 kph speed limits.

During stage 1, given the high speed and residential road, the pursuit should have been abandoned in the early stages when it reached speeds of 115 and 120 kph in a 50 kph area. Following this, there were several other reports of unacceptably high speed, which also should have led to the pursuit being abandoned. Two officers should have carried out a pre-deployment check of their patrol car and the road spike equipment carried in it before leaving the Police station.

During stage 2, the officers and the pursuit controller should have abandoned the pursuit once they realised that Mr Wilson had recommenced driving far in excess of the posted speed limit and had no intention of stopping for Police.

During stage 3, given the clear risk factors, the pursuit should have been abandoned before it reached the 70 kph speed zone on the outskirts of Te Puke.

The sustained high speeds reached by the pursuing officers were dangerous to the public, the occupants of the fleeing vehicle and the officers themselves.

Section 27 opinion

Section 27(1) of the Independent Police Conduct Authority Act 1988 requires the Authority to form an opinion as to whether or not any act, omission, conduct, policy, practice or procedure the subject-matter of an investigation was contrary to law, unreasonable, unjustified, unfair or undesirable. 3

Pursuant to section 27(1) of the Act, the Authority has formed the opinion that:
• the failure by Officers A and B and the pursuit controller to abandon the pursuit during stage 1 was unjustified;
• the failure of Officers C and D to carry out a pre-deployment check of their patrol car and the equipment carried in it was undesirable;
• the attempted use of road spikes on a vehicle travelling at more than 100 kph by Officers C and D and the pursuit controller was undesirable;
• the failure by Officer E and the pursuit controller to abandon the pursuit during stage 2 was unjustified; and
• the failure by Officer G and the pursuit controller to abandon the pursuit before it entered the outskirts of Te Puke was unjustified.

Section 27(2) recommendations
The Authority notes that the Fleeing Driver policy now requires officers to continually relay the applicable speed limits during a pursuit, and therefore makes no recommendation in that respect.
Pursuant to section 27(2) of the Act, the Authority recommends that:
• all frontline and NorthComms staff involved in this pursuit be reminded of the risks of pursuing at such a high speed; and
• all staff are reminded of the importance of carrying out a pre-deployment check of their patrol car and the equipment carried in it prior to use and of ensuring that the equipment carried is in a safe operating condition.

2012_Sept_28_Wilson_and_Keepa_Fatal_Pursuit_embargoed.pdf

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sits at 10.30am today before MPs are summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber.

The speech delivered by the Governor-General on the Government’s behalf outlines its priorities for this Parliament.

After this MPs will return to the House for the presentation of petitions and papers and the introduction of any bills.

The Government has five notices of motion on the Order Paper which can be debated. These relate to relating to the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speakers, the reinstatement of business in a carryover motion and one on “Entities to be deemed public organisations”. More>>

 

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news