8 August 2013 - The Independent Police Conduct Authority today released two separate reports relating to incidents following short Police pursuits in Auckland and Taupo earlier this year.
Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair Judge Sir David Carruthers said in both cases the Authority found that Police not only considered all relevant risk factors before commencing each pursuit but also fully complied with the law and the Police policy during the pursuits.
The Taupo incident resulted in the death of Callan Moss following a Police pursuit in March 2013.
In the early hours of Saturday 16 March 2013 Mr Moss, a suspended restricted driver who had been drinking, fled Police after being signalled to stop due to speeding. Instead of pulling over Mr Moss took steps to evade Police by accelerating and attempting to overtake a truck. Mr Moss then pulled back in behind the truck he was trying to overtake but as he did so he clipped the back of it causing his car to spin across the road into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
“This was a tragic accident caused by the actions of 20 year-old Mr Moss that resulted in his death and caused serious injury to one of his two passengers,” Sir David said.
The Auckland incident resulted in serious bodily harm to four youths during a Police pursuit on the night of 3 March 2013.
Earlier that evening the driver and her three passengers had been involved in a number of altercations which were reported to Police. In responding to these reports Police located the vehicle and signalled the driver to stop. Instead, the driver accelerated and shortly after hit a concrete island while attempting to overtake another car. The driver and her occupants crashed into a concrete block wall and sustained serious injuries as a result.
“This was a pursuit which lasted 53 seconds and covered approximately 1.4km prior to the crash. Police complied with the law and policy throughout the pursuit and the communication, especially in relation to risk, was excellent,” Sir David said.
The Authority found that the main factors causing the crash were the driver’s excess speed and blood alcohol level.
“While in these instances the Authority has not found any breaches of Police policy, the Authority is continuing its discussions with Police about a review of policies connected with the pursuit of fleeing drivers,” Sir David said.