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Police acknowledge IPCA findings

Police acknowledge the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into a fleeing driver incident in Palmerston North on 22 April 2018.

The IPCA found that while the decision to pursue the fleeing driver was reasonable in the circumstances, the pursuit should have been abandoned at an early stage due to the significant risks the fleeing driver was posing to himself, his passengers, and other road users.

The IPCA also found that the fleeing driver was not assaulted by police as he alleged, and that the force used to arrest him was justified and proportionate.

Central District Commander, Superintendent Chris de Wattignar, says the decision to pursue a fleeing driver is one of the most complex and difficult decisions an officer has to make.

“Police officers have to balance the risks involved in pursuing a fleeing driver with the need to protect the public from potentially dangerous behaviour and further offending,” says Superintendent de Wattignar.

“In this instance I fully support the intent of the officer in our endeavours to stop this driver, but accept that we could have done things differently.
I am pleased the IPCA agreed that no assault occurred during the arrest.”

The decision whether to start, continue, or abandon a pursuit is based on Police’s risk assessment tool TENR (Threat-Exposure-Necessity-Response).

“The IPCA review into fleeing drivers, released earlier this year, found that while Police manage fleeing driver events well, there is room for improvement, especially around risk assessments,” says Superintendent de Wattignar.

“Police and the IPCA have developed an Action Plan to improve cognitive training and support for fleeing driver events, and we continue to work with our people on the use of TENR in rapidly evolving situations.”


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