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

 

Wellington waterfront pursuit put public at unjustified risk

Wednesday 17 May 2017 – 10am

Wellington waterfront pursuit put public at unjustified risk

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer who pursued a fleeing driver along the Wellington waterfront put the public at unnecessary and unjustified risk.

At about 1.55pm on Friday 8 April 2016, Police became aware that a driver of a Mitsubishi had stolen a radar detector from a vehicle parked on Vivian Street, Wellington.

A short time later, an officer, driving an unmarked Police car, saw the Mitsubishi on Oriental Parade and began following it. A pursuit commenced on Kent Terrace when the driver of the Mitsubishi failed to stop.

The officer followed the Mitsubishi through traffic stopped at a red light at the intersection of Tory Street and Cable Street and pursued it at a low speed the wrong way down Cable Street (a one way street). Both the officer and the Mitsubishi entered the Wellington waterfront at Taranaki Street.

At this point, the officer told the Police Central Communications Centre (CentComms) that he was heading right, through the carpark next to the dive platform. The officer did not confirm his location when asked to do so by CentComms.

Both the CentComms pursuit controller and dispatcher believed that the pursuit had ended when the cars reached the bollards at the entrance to the waterfront, and that the officer was chasing the offender on foot.

In fact, a bollard was missing and both cars had entered the waterfront, a predominantly pedestrian area. The cars continued along the waterfront, over a pedestrian footbridge, past Frank Kitts Park and towards the TSB Bank Arena.

The Authority estimates that the officer followed the Mitsubishi along the waterfront at a speed of between 47.7 and 59.85 kilometres per hour.

It was a sunny day. The waterfront was busy and the crowd included groups of school-age children; in the words of one witness “there were children everywhere”.

Two witnesses said they were forced to leap over the side of the footbridge and cling onto metal beams hanging above the lagoon to avoid the cars. A group of children were forced to the edge of the waterfront to avoid the cars.

The officer did not communicate again with CentComms until he was near the TSB Arena. At that point he told CentComms that he was on the waterfront and had lost ‘observation’ for the time being. Neither the pursuit controller nor the dispatcher was aware that the Mitsubishi had been pursued along the waterfront.

The driver and passenger of the Mitsubishi were arrested a short time later.

The Authority is satisfied that the officer was justified in pursuing the Mitsubishi along Cable Street at a slow speed. However, it found that the officer should have abandoned the pursuit as soon as it became apparent that the driver of the Mitsubishi was able to access the waterfront area.

“The already very high risks to the public increased significantly as the pursuit continued along the waterfront to the TSB Arena. It is unacceptable that members of the public had to jump out of the way and climb over bridges to escape harm”, said Authority Chair, Sir David Carruthers. “The officer’s decision to pursue the Mitsubishi, as well as the manner and speed of his driving, put the public at unjustified risk.”

The officer was charged with dangerous driving. He pleaded guilty to the charge and on 1 March 2017 was discharged without conviction.

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1705/17_MAY_2017_IPCA_PUBLIC_REPORT__Police_pursuit_of_a_fleeing_driver_along_Wellington_waterfront.pdf


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Not Easy: Gordon Campbell On The Greens’ Ongoing Problems

Hard to treat the Greens’ belated decision to stand a candidate in Ohariu as being anything other than a desperation move, by a party whose own leadership is evidently concerned about its chances of survival...

A few months ago, the Greens felt able to forego that role in Ohariu in order to help a beleaguered Labour Party get its candidate Greg O’Connor across the line, and knock Peter Dunne out of the parliamentary frame. More>>

 

Closing The Gap: Ardern Rules Out Income Tax Rise

After earlier commitments by Jacinda Ardern to do something about inequality and poverty, this new position on income tax seems an about face. To do something significant about inequality requires increases in income for those at the bottom and decreases for those at the top... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need... More>>

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election