Officer justified in 112km/h chase speed in Lower Hutt - IPCA

11:30 am on 25 July 2019

A police officer who drove at more than twice the speed limit while pursuing suspects in Lower Hutt has been cleared by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA).

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

After witnessing a robbery outside a liquor store in Lower Hutt, the officer chased a car carrying two people, briefly reaching speeds of up to 112 km/h in a 50 km/h zone along Cambridge Terrace, a suburban street.

The driver of the fleeing vehicle crashed into another car while trying to overtake, and was then arrested.

IPCA chair Colin Doherty said those speeds were justified in the circumstances, and given the officer's level of experience.

The authority has found the officer followed police policy throughout the incident.

Hutt Valley area police commander James McKay said police had to balance protecting the public from dangerous behaviour against the potential for a driver to take greater risks.

"Police will abandon a pursuit if the risk is assessed as too dangerous," he said in a statement. "This is continually reassessed throughout the incident."

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