Canterbury police officer unjustified in striking runaway driver with gun - IPCA

The IPCA's findings have been acknowledged by the police.
The IPCA's findings have been acknowledged by the police. Photo credit: Getty

The police watchdog has found excessive force was used to arrest a fleeing driver in Christchurch.

Lasting just more than 20 minutes, the pursuit happened in the Christchurch city centre in 2017.

The occupants of the ute being pursued by police broke windows and threw building tools into the path of patrol cars and later smashed into one.

An officer then struck the driver of the vehicle with his gun and a dog bit his leg for about 50 seconds while handcuffs were applied, the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) said.

The response was overly aggressive and the police were not justified in their actions, the IPCA said.

"During the lengthy pursuit, police had the time and resources to formulate a plan for when the ute came to a stop," IPCA chair Judge Colin Doherty said in a statement.

In a statement on Tuesday, police acknowledged the findings of the IPCA report. The actions of all officers concerned were addressed through further training and discussions, police said.

Supt John Price.
Supt John Price. Photo credit: Newshub.

"Our officers are committed to doing the right thing with the right intent in their work to protect the public and make sure people are safe," said Canterbury District Commander Supt John Price.

"The officers were dealing with a motivated offender determined to avoid arrest, and who was willing to risk the safety of others through his manner of driving.

"However as the authority’s report has highlighted there were a number of areas where the officers' actions did not meet the standard required of them."

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