Serious fleeing driver incident in Puhoi

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Serious fleeing driver incident in Puhoi

Please attribute to Rodney Area Commander, Inspector Bruce O’Brien:

At approximately 1.50pm yesterday, Police in Counties Manukau attempted to stop a stolen vehicle in Manurewa.

The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated.

This continued along the Southern Motorway onto the Northern Motorway, however Police units pulled back and the vehicle was monitored by Eagle helicopter.

Just north of the Johnstones Hill Tunnels, police staff deployed road spikes.

An innocent member of the public has attempted to stop to avoid the spikes and the offending vehicle has then driven into the back of her car.

The two offenders, the driver who was aged 14 and the passenger aged 11, were apprehended shortly after the crash at around 2.18pm.

The 11-year-old has been returned to his home with a referral to Youth Aid and the 14-year-old has appeared in the Youth Court today on very serious charges, which include unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, reckless driving causing injury, burglary, escapes custody and failing to stop.

What is most distressing to Police is that an innocent member of our community was caught up in this incident.

She is also pregnant and this has understandably caused a lot of stress to both her and her family.

She was taken to North Shore Hospital but thankfully both she and her unborn child are okay.

Inspector Bruce O’Brien says Police are supporting the victim and her family and he, along with the Waitemata District Commander have visited them in hospital.

“Alongside our criminal investigation we have also commenced an internal investigation and notified the Independent Police Conduct Authority, both of which are standard procedure.

We will be making every effort to examine our own actions during this incident to ensure we followed our fleeing driver policy and to see what, if anything, we could have done to prevent this.

“I am very grateful to be able to say today that this member of our community is okay, but this could have well been a very different outcome.

The offending vehicle was driving very recklessly and putting members of the public in danger.

It was imperative that police continued to monitored the situation but the last thing we ever want is for a member of the public to get injured while police are trying to stop a fleeing driver,” says Inspector O’Brien.

“Parents and caregivers have a major role in ensuring that we don’t have teenagers and children driving stolen vehicles around.

Police cannot arrest our way out of this problem but we also cannot solve this issue alone.

We work closely with our partners including Oranga Tamariki but ultimately parenting begins at home.”


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