Police justified in use of dog to arrest man attempting to escape


The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer in Northland was justified in using a Police dog to stop a man trying to avoid arrest.

Police attempted to stop a car that had been driving at 150kph. At one point the driver stopped and reversed at a Police car, attempting to ram it, before driving away again at speed. Eventually the car became stuck on a rural driveway, and the driver ran into bush. However, he was recognised by a Police officer as a man with an extensive criminal history who was wanted for arrest.

A Police dog handler and dog was called to track the man. When he was located, the man failed to give himself up, and the Police officer released his dog, which bit the man on his leg, causing injuries that required extensive treatment in hospital.

“The driver of the car was well-known to Police due to his extensive criminal history and involvement in gangs. He had attempted to escape Police, reversing at speed towards a following Police car before running away. In this case, although the Police dog caused the man serious injuries, in the context where he was attempting to escape, was wanted for arrest, and was known to carry weapons, the use of the Police dog was justified,” said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.

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