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Police Officer death and more inevitable

Police Officer death and more inevitable
Media release - Candor Trust

Repeated warnings have been issued by the Candor Trust about the need to review and tighten Police pursuit policy, and what happened last night - the death of a serving Officer, was inevitable say Candor Trust.

The traumatic death of a Porirua police officer in Titahi Bay, Sergeant Derek Wootton, who was laying out spikes when hit by a stolen car occurred after a pursuit that was triggered by an alleged kidnapping, about 3am this morning.

The pursuit occurred in a residential area and a local child care centre worker said the community had been asking the council to drop the speed limit on that particular road.

The Trust questions why communications had not ensured the spike layer had sufficient time to lay the spikes out in a more appropriate location than was utilised, prior to the expected time of arrival of the pursuit vehicles.
Ron Marks has said “the people who stole a car and failed to stop are responsible for the death of the police officer this morning should face the most serious charges available,” but he misses the point.

What has he been doing or any other politician to prevent this? Candor Trust has recommended a new offence with tougher penalties for chase runners. And a range of other initiatives to make chases less likely and less risky, and has advocated these for over 2 years.

Prime Minister Helen Clark commented that "To see an officer killed in the line of duty is an appalling tragedy". It is a real pity she has not taken any issue in a chronic high danger pursuit culture, prior to this event. And that her Trransport Ministers have openly mocked correspondence that expressed concerns, sent to them by Candor Trust.

The only political party which has taken an interest in the lax chase policies and procedures, which see fatal erors occur constantly, is the Maori party. Perhaps the location and ommunity this latest death occured in gives a hint as to why.


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