’Don’t, just don’t’ - top cop’s plea to drivers

A police pursuit through Tauranga this week ended with the vehicle crashing into a powerpole in Hinuera. Image: Paul Hammond.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush is welcoming the release of a joint review into Police’s management of fleeing drivers.

“The decision whether or not to pursue a fleeing driver is one of the most complex, difficult, and serious decisions our staff make.

“All too tragically, whenever drivers flee from us, their actions can cause crashes that seriously injure or kill people,” says Mike.

“We know these are high-risk events with potentially devastating consequences.”

These drivers are people’s partners, children, and friends.

“But drivers who flee are not only risking their lives and those of their passengers, but the lives of innocent people in our communities.”

On Tuesday, a police pursuit through Tauranga ended when the fleeing car crashed into a powerpole in Hinuera.

The vehicle is believed to have been driven by an offender who had several warrants out for their arrest.

“Today I want to reach out to all drivers who think that fleeing from police is an option and say – don’t do it,” says Mike.

“It is not worth the risk to you, your family, or our communities.

“We would not be here today if everyone pulled over and stopped when Police asked them to. Unfortunately, people are still making the choice to flee from Police.

“So we want to ensure our Police response to drivers who choose to flee is as safe as possible.”

Mike says this is why there have been five major reviews of the Fleeing Driver Policy since its creation.

“It’s also why police partnered with the Independent Police Conduct Authority to undertake the thematic review Fleeing Drivers in New Zealand: a collaborative review of events, practices, and procedures.”

The review examined a collection of fleeing driver events to find common themes and issues, rather than looking at incidents in isolation.

It identified what is working well and opportunities for improvement.

“The Review has shown that our staff generally manage fleeing driver events well, affirming the principles underpinning our Fleeing Driver Policy.

“However, there are clear areas we can, and need to improve.

This includes improving how some of our staff conduct risk assessment, providing enhanced cognitive-based training for managing these complex and high-risk events, and improving communication between our frontline staff and our communications centres.

“To address the findings of the report we’ve worked closely with the Authority to develop eight recommendations that will be supported by a substantial Action Plan.

As Commissioner of Police, I am committed to ensuring all our staff have the training and resources they need to make the best decision at the time.

“Our officers come to work every day to keep people safe, it’s our job, and we want to make sure we are doing it to the best of our abilities.

“While the responsibility for fleeing driver events will always lie with the offending driver who refuses to stop, the safe resolution of these events is the only outcome Police want to see.”


More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now

If We Want To See

Posted on 17-03-2019 16:49 | By R1Squid

less car-nage in this city, then there has to be enforcement. Drivers in this city flout the road rules simply because there is no one looking and they can get away with it. The only chance that they will be caught is when their dangerous driving results in injury or death. With what I see daily, l can only assume that almost all drivers in this city obtain their licences from Wheetbix boxes.

Full support for the police

Posted on 15-03-2019 13:39 | By earlybird

If the Police didn’t attempt to stop these drivers and they then went on to have a crash anyway and killed an innocent person, whose fault would that be. People would be blaming the Police for not stopping them. So, on balance, I’m comfortable for the Police to continue to try and catch fleeing drivers.