10 Nov 2017

Three hundred police pursuits a month - review

4:36 pm on 10 November 2017

A joint review of police pursuits has been launched with a string of recent crashes and deaths following police chases.

The review was started in July, and is being jointly undertaken by the New Zealand Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

In the last month three people died following police pursuits.

On 22 October a 25-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man died when the car they were in crashed into a tree.

Two weeks before that, 15-year-old Morrocco Tai died in a pursuit in Ōtara.

A joint statement from New Zealand Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority said drivers who flee increased the risk to themselves and the public.

On average there were 300 police pursuits a month, the statement said.

"While these events are challenging, dynamic and complex events, they only represent a small proportion (0.1 percent) of vehicle stops by police each year."

The review is looking at all pursuits notified to the authority this year - it's estimated that will cover 75 pursuits.

Most chases notified to the authority involve either death or serious injury.

It will also look at a random sample of ten percent of all other pursuits during the same time period.

A report should be available to the public by late 2018.

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