16 Jun 2011

Police officer followed policy in pursuit - IPCA

3:20 pm on 16 June 2011

A police officer involved in a pursuit last year near Hamilton, after which a man died, has been cleared of any wrong-doing by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA).

However, the authority has questioned some aspects of the command and control of the chase.

Israel Porter, 27, died when his car collided with a van on the northern outskirts of Hamilton on 27 March 2010.

A police patrol had been pursuing Mr Porter for less than two minutes before abandoning the chase. The crash occurred a short time later.

The IPCA says the officer was justified in starting the pursuit and he followed all the correct procedures.

The authority says the pursuit controller was briefly distracted by technical computer issues and didn't take effective command and control of the situation, which it says was undesirable.

The IPCA has also restated a recommendation that police vehicles have hands-free communication technology.

Police say the pursuit controller has received further coaching on the conduct and management of pursuits. They say hands-free communication is happening with the rollout of digital radio in vehicles.