Police 'missed chance' to prevent crash

22:18, Feb 26 2014

A police communicator failed to record key information which led to a driver being seriously injured when the truck he drove collided with cattle on the road, an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report has found.

The report related to an incident in June 2012, when a police communicator received two emergency calls regarding wandering stock near Mataura in Southland.

The police communicator failed to record the rural address property identification number after the first call, which was contrary to police policy. That hindered their ability to locate the cattle, the IPCA report found.

The communicator also failed to create a new job for the second report of wandering cattle 40 minutes later.

Police had met the injured truck driver after the incident and apologised for the failure, Southern Communications Centre manager Inspector Kieran Kortegast said.

"Police are concerned with any call from the public that results in a service failure, which in this case had serious consequences," he said.

"The staff member in question missed the opportunity to prevent a collision that has caused serious injury to a member of the public."

The police communicator had since received further training and had been subject to a disciplinary process.