Preliminary findings into a high-speed chase on the
Strath Taieri indicate police officers followed correct
procedure, police say.
A 16-year-old unlicensed driver of a Toyota Rav4 remains in
Dunedin Hospital with serious injuries after the vehicle
crashed and rolled three times while the teenager was fleeing
police at Clarks Junction on Monday.
Inspector Mel Aitken said inquiries into the crash were
ongoing, and it was too soon to comment on whether charges
would be laid.
Initial findings indicate police fleeing driver policy was
''However, as with all fleeing driver incidents, the actions
of police will be reviewed to ensure that the correct
procedures were adhered to,'' she said.
Police gave chase for about four minutes. The vehicle pursued
reached speeds of up to 140kmh before failing to take a
Figures released to the Otago Daily Times under the
Official Information Act show the number of pursuits in the
Southern district had declined since 124 incidents were
recorded in 2009.
Last year, 87 pursuits were recorded by police across Otago
and Southland and more than half were abandoned by officers.
There were 15 crashes (including three injuries) following
police pursuits last year, down from 20 crashes (including
nine injuries) in 2009.
Insp Aitken said it was ''unclear whether this is a defined
trend or not at this point''.
''However, we are always trying to refine our training for
staff in relation to pursuits and improve the way we do
things,'' she said.
''It's important to remember that these are situations
created by the choices that an offender makes, not by
Police fleeing driver policy is based on the premise that
drivers who fail to stop for police and who avoid
apprehension pose risks to the public, police officers and
Road Policing acting national manager Peter McKennie said
officers, in deciding whether to pursue a fleeing driver,
must balance their responsibility to protect lives with their
duty to enforce the law.
''If the decision is made to pursue, police must prioritise
safety, by driving with a high standard of care and
professionalism and in a manner appropriate to the
situation,'' he said.
An internal review followed each fleeing driver event, he
''The seriousness of each event will influence the level of
review and investigation, with some falling under the
jurisdiction of the Independent Police Conduct Authority.''