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5 November 2014 - A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority found the officers involved in a Police pursuit which resulted in the serious injury to two youths, complied with Police policy and were justified in pursuing the 15-year old driver.
The pursuit began just after 12:20am on 9 July 2014 when the 15-year-old driver of a Subaru failed to stop after being signalled to do so by Police. Earlier that evening Police had noticed the Subaru travelling very slowly and close to the kerb along Hurtsmere Road in an area where a high number of burglaries had recently occurred.
The officers decided they would stop the Subaru given the location, the type of vehicle, the time of day, the occupants’ interest in the shops and their reaction on seeing Police.
The 65 second pursuit covered a distance of 1.7 kilometres before the unlicensed driver attempted to perform a right hand turn while driving the wrong way through an intersection. The driver then lost control of the Subaru which hit a traffic light pole, leaving the 15-year-old front seat passenger with life-threatening head injuries and seriously injuring the 13-year-old rear seat passenger. It was later established that the Subaru had been stolen.
In releasing today’s report Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers said the officers involved in the pursuit followed Police policy.
“The officers pursuing the car were justified in commencing the pursuit; they complied with all aspects of the fleeing driver policy throughout the pursuit and carried out an ongoing risk assessment during the pursuit.
“This was a tragic incident caused by the actions of the young unlicensed driver that resulted in serious injury to his two passengers,” Sir David said.
The Authority notes its ongoing work with Police in revising policies connected with the pursuit of fleeing drivers. This work is now well advanced.