Lower Hutt fleeing driver incident
Police acknowledge IPCA findings into Lower Hutt fleeing driver incident
Police acknowledge the report from the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the speed reached by an officer during a fleeing driver incident in Lower Hutt last year.
On 14 June 2018, an officer was patrolling the Lower Hutt area when he witnessed a robbery outside a liquor store on Waiwhetu Road.
As the officer drove towards the incident, two men fled on foot.
One of the men jumped into a parked car with another occupant at the wheel.
The officer pursued the vehicle onto Cambridge Terrace, a 50kph zone, where he briefly reached speeds of 112kph.
The fleeing driver, travelling at speed, collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Awamutu Grove.
The fleeing vehicle stopped and the occupants were arrested.
The IPCA found that the officer was justified in pursuing the fleeing vehicle, and he followed Police policy throughout the incident.
The speed reached was also found to be justified in the circumstances.
Hutt Valley Area Commander Inspector James McKay accepts the IPCA's findings.
“Police have to balance protecting the public from dangerous behaviour and the potential for the offending driver to take greater risks.
“The decision whether to start, continue, or abandon pursuit is based on Police’s risk assessment tool TENR (Threat-Exposure-Necessity-Response).
"Police will abandon a pursuit if the risk is assessed as too dangerous; this is continually reassessed throughout the incident.
“The one thing we want everybody to understand is if they’re signalled to stop by Police, they should pull over and stop.
“It is not worth putting your life, your passenger’s life, or anyone else’s life at risk.”