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Response to IPCA report on fleeing driver incident

Response to IPCA report on fleeing driver incident in Porirua.

Police acknowledge the findings of an IPCA report into a fleeing driver incident in Porirua in May 2016 in which the passenger of the fleeing car died.

The authority finds that police were justified in commencing the pursuit, which was generally conducted in accordance with police policy.

The incident occurred after police observed a car pull out from a car dealership at 8.30pm on the evening of Saturday 21 May 2016.

The officer thought the driver’s actions were suspicious, and the driver then began actively evading police a short time after lights and sirens were activated.

The fleeing driver eventually lost control on Kenepuru Drive, crashing into a tree and resulting in the death of his front seat passenger .

The authority notes that the officer carried out an appropriate risk assessment given the short duration of the pursuit, and that he turned his mind to abandoning the pursuit on more than one occasion.

“The death of the female passenger is an absolute tragedy and entirely avoidable,” says Superintendent Steve Kehoe, Acting Wellington District Commander.

“This tragedy would not have occurred had the driver pulled over when signalled by police.

“The consequences of stopping when requested are never more important than the risk to yourself, your passengers and the public if you choose to evade police,’ says Mr Kehoe.

In May 2017 the driver was sentenced to five years imprisonment after pleading guilty to one charge of reckless driving causing death.

ENDS

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