A New Zealand police officer has been caught on camera accidentally pepper-spraying herself while chasing a fleeing suspect.

Footage posted to social media shows a number of police officers in cars and on foot pursuing a man in the Napier suburb of Maraenui.

Police cars can be seen driving down the street with sirens on as a female office gives chase to the suspect on foot.

As officers chase the suspect, onlookers can be heard encouraging the man to get away.

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One witness was heard yelling: "Run Dad, run!"

A New Zealand police officer has been caught on camera accidentally pepper-spraying herself while chasing a fleeing suspect.
A New Zealand police officer has been caught on camera accidentally pepper-spraying herself while chasing a fleeing suspect.

Unfortunately for the officer she missed her target while attempting to pepper spray the man.

Not giving up, she continued to give chase but accidentally pepper-sprayed herself, giving the suspect a chance to break away.

But seconds later the suspect was tackled to the ground by another officer and arrested.

The suspect was tackled to the ground.
The suspect was tackled to the ground.

The onlooker's video has been viewed more than 40,000 times.

A New Zealand Police spokesperson says it isn't uncommon for police officers to be affected by residual spray.

Thousands of people flocked to social media to view the video with some criticising the suspect and person who filmed the incident while praising the officer for her efforts.

"Something to be proud of... Not!" one person wrote.

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Another said: "Good on her strong enough to carry on when anyone else would drop cry like a baby after being pepper-sprayed."

Others saw the funny side, poking fun at the incident.

"Sign him up for the Warriors. He ran more metres than their forward pack last week," one laughed.

A second added: "Solid run koro! Wow lady cop you got gassed and pepper-sprayed yourself for your efforts."