Police officer censured after shooting at his own car that was being stolen

2:36 pm on 4 April 2019

The police watchdog has found an officer was not justified in shooting at his own police car while it was being stolen.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has ruled the officer should not have had a gun on him and made poor decisions which let the man steal his police car in 2017.

The officer had arrested the man in Murupara, then got out of the police car leaving the engine running.

While handcuffed, the arrested man drove off in the car, and the officer shot at the tyres to try to stop him.

No one was injured, but the man was on the run from police for three weeks.

The authority also found a number of failings on the part of a more senior officer.

Both officers still work for the police.

Police have accepted the findings, including that the officer did not follow policy when he decided to carry a gun without the necessary approvals.

Police have now reminded officers not shoot at moving vehicles unless there is a risk of death or serious bodily harm.