IPCA: Police force in car chase arrest justified

  • 04/11/2015
IPCA: Police force in car chase arrest justified

Police officers have been cleared for using a Taser and police dog to arrest three men following a high-speed car chase through Christchurch.

The independent police watchdog found the use of force was appropriate and justified but found minor faults in the communication during the pursuit.

The chase began on October 30 last year when officers saw a Honda driving above the speed limit through the city and failed to stop for police.

The fleeing car reached speeds above 140km/h during the 24-minute pursuit, which was abandoned on three occasions because of the dangerous driving, before getting cornered.

It rammed a police car twice in an attempt to escape and as two officers ran to make an arrest another officer used his police car to ram the offenders' vehicle, forcing it off the road and onto the footpath.

Another police car was used to block the Honda in.

The driver was Tasered but later continued to struggle, prompting an officer to punch him twice in the face before handcuffing him.

A police dog bit a front seat passenger on the forearm after he police believed he appeared to be reaching for a weapon.

The backseat passenger was arrested without incident.

Authority chairman Sir David Carruthers said some aspects of the police's communication of risk factors could have been improved.

"The current policy governing the pursuit of fleeing drivers is highly prescriptive, and police officers faced with the need to make quick decisions in a pursuit situation sometimes find it difficult to comply with all aspects of that policy," he said.