Four youths have been arrested and will face charges, following a fleeing driver incident this afternoon.
A vehicle of interest failed to stop for police on East Street, Pukekohe at 10.42am. The vehicle fled from police, who followed at legal road speed but did not initiate a pursuit.
The occupants abandoned the vehicle a short time later on Hall Street, Pukekohe. They were picked up by a second vehicle, but again a pursuit was not initiated.
The occupants abandoned the second vehicle on Bairds Road, Otara a short time later. They then drove off in an allegedly stolen third vehicle, but again police did not engage in a pursuit.
The vehicle was spiked near the Victoria Street and Wall Street, Hamilton intersection at 12.43pm. The vehicle hit a police car after it was spiked. A pursuit was authorised at that time, due to a report of a firearm being sighted in the vehicle.
Police vehicles pursued for a short period of time until the Eagle helicopter could take over. Once the Eagle helicopter was overhead, police vehicles abandoned the pursuit and Eagle continued to monitor the vehicles’ progress.
The driver continued until they lost control of the vehicle near the Fairfield Bridge intersection on Victoria Street at 12.56pm. The occupants fled the vehicle, but police staff quickly moved in and took the occupants of the vehicle into custody without further incident. No firearm was located in the vehicle.
The four youths arrested will be put before the court on a number of driving and dishonesty related matters.
Fortunately, no members of the public have suffered any injuries as a result of this incident.
Police appreciate that this incident has been disruptive and has caused distress to motorists in Auckland and Hamilton.
Fleeing driver events are volatile, unpredictable, and high risk to everyone involved.
Drivers who choose not to pull over for Police when instructed put themselves, Police staff, and the public at risk.
Police are committed to keeping our roads safe and will always assess the risk before initiating a pursuit.
Police use a risk-assessment process to guide our decisions about what tactical options might be required to safely resolve any situation.
Instead of a pursuit, Police are generally able to monitor the progress of a fleeing vehicle and plan a safe intervention to bring the incident to an end, such as in this incident.
In an instance where a driver is not apprehended, Police can follow up with other investigation techniques, witnesses, officer knowledge and avenues of enquiry to identify the vehicle and driver so they can be held to account.