News from NZ Police
Police accept the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report into a fleeing driver incident in March 2010 and are working to implement the recommendations. The report relates to an incident where the rider of a motorcycle, Dion Batt, was severely injured when he crashed in the Auckland suburb of Massey after evading police at high speed for 25 minutes.
The IPCA found police were justified in attempting to stop Mr Batt, who had been seen riding his motorcycle at 100kmph in a 50kmph zone and was later found to have methamphetamine in his blood.
The Authority made seven recommendations relating to aspects of police policy and procedure.
Assistant Commissioner Upper North Allan Boreham says police accept there were shortcomings and are addressing these issues.
“We’re amending the Fleeing Driver Policy that existed at that time and we’re finalising the other required changes.
“Since this incident the Auckland region has upgraded to digital radio, which gives more channel coverage than was available in 2010, and the radios themselves are easier for staff to operate. We’ve also put hands-free kit in cars.”
Mr Boreham says fleeing driver incidents are always extremely testing for police.
“They are fast-moving, unpredictable and high pressure situations that require quick judgements and the public expect us to get it right. We take that responsibility very seriously and are always looking for ways to manage these challenging situations better.”
Mr Boreham says the small number of people who may consider fleeing from a police officer also need to play their part.
“As the IPCA notes, Mr Batt demonstrated by his actions that he was prepared to risk his life and the lives of others to avoid police.
“I’m asking anyone who would consider fleeing to make the right choice and comply if a police officer requests them to stop.”