Tuesday, 12 March 2019 – 10:07am
Police acknowledge the findings of the IPCA report released today in relation to the tragic death of three people following a fatal crash in Nelson in March 2018.
One of the vehicles involved in the crash had been fleeing from Police.
The IPCA found the decision by the Police staff involved in taking action to stop the fleeing vehicle was reasonable and the resulting pursuit was justified.
“The outcome of the crash and the death of three people including an innocent road user was a tragedy,” said Tasman District Commander Superintendent Mike Johnson.
Police had been looking to stop the fleeing car as it was believed a high-risk wanted offender was in the car. The IPCA found that there was a reasonable belief by Police staff that the wanted man was an occupant. Following the crash it was found that the wanted man was not in the car.
“We offer our condolences to the friends and whanau of all those killed in the crash. Police staff go to work every day to keep the community safe, this is the worst possible outcome for our staff.
“This was a needless waste of three lives which could have been avoided had the driver just stopped when signalled to do so by Police,” said Superintendent Johnson.
Fleeing driver events can be volatile, unpredictable, and high-risk to everyone involved. These events are not commenced lightly by Police and staff are trained regularly in dynamic risk assessment (Threat-Exposure-Necessity-Response) for situations such as this.
“The one thing we want everybody to understand, is if they’re signalled to stop by Police, they should pull over and stop,” said Superintendent Johnson.
Issued by Police Media Centre