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Police updates – fatal crashes Dargaville, Papatoetoe, changes to fleeing driver framework

Police updates on crimes and investigations for 29 November 2022.

Fleeing driver framework to bring more balance

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says Police will be making revisions to the fleeing driver policy next year following engagement with staff and stakeholders.

“I want to be sure we provide the right settings to keep our communities and our people safe,” Commissioner Coster says.

“Changes to the policy were introduced nearly two years ago. During this time we’ve seen a significant increase in fleeing driver events and a significant decrease in the proportion of offenders identified.

“However, our data also shows a decrease in the number of people killed during fleeing driver events.”

Feedback on the revisions has been sought from Police staff as well as key partners including the Police Association, Independent Police Conduct Authority, and Children’s Commissioner.

“We know there is a desire for change and a perception that offenders are more brazen and more willing to take risks with their driving behaviour,” Commissioner Coster says.

“The revisions will bring us back to a more balanced position, while still prioritising the safety of officers and the public.”

The policy changes will introduce a Fleeing Driver Framework, which will provide clarity for staff on when a pursuit may be justified, including the weight given to the threat of further harm if the offenders are not apprehended immediately. More information will be released on this next year.

“We continue to work through details including implementing the amended policy and plans for staff training, with the framework expected to take effect before the middle of next year.

“Fleeing driver events are volatile, unpredictable, and high risk to everyone involved. I want to thank our staff for the work they do every day to keep our communities safe, and for the consideration and decisions they make.

“I believe the coming revisions will achieve more balance, accepting that there is no perfect solution.

“Drivers who choose not to pull over for Police when instructed put themselves, our staff, and the public at risk. The one thing that will always remain at the forefront of this policy is an acknowledgement of that risk, and that safety must always come first.”

Fatal crash – Dargaville

One person has died following a crash in Dargaville this morning.

The single-vehicle crash, on Notorious West Drive, was reported to Police around 8.23am.

Upon arrival, one person was located deceased inside the vehicle.

The crash has since been cleared and there are no road blocks in place.

The death has been referred to the Coroner.

Fatal Crash, Papatoetoe

One person has died following a crash in Papatoetoe this evening.

The single-vehicle crash, on the intersection of Pembroke Street and Tui Road, was reported to Police around 7.30pm.

One person was located deceased at the scene, while two people have been taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

A power pole has been damaged and local residents may notice some power outages while crews work at the scene.

The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation.

Name release – Diver, Mahia Peninsula

Police can now name the man who died while diving off Mahia Peninsula this weekend.

He was Tipuna Jones, aged 36, from Gisborne.

Our thoughts are with his whānau and loved ones.

The death will be referred to the Coroner.

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