A policeman was assaulted and the squad car he was in was stolen in Northland last night.

The officer and a colleague had driven to the Waipu area in response to a report about "suspicious activity".

Shortly before 10pm, they spoke to a man, but he was unco-operative.

He then assaulted the officer and drove off in the police car.

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The man was pursued for about 15 minutes along Cove Rd in Waipu.

Road spikes put an end to his escapade, and he was arrested.

The assaulted policeman did not require medical attention.