Fleeing driver incidents ‘sky rocket’ nationwide

File image/SunLive.

Fleeing vehicle incidents have steadily increased over the past five years in Tauranga, but police say these figures are part of a nationwide trend.

New data reveals police fleeing driver statistics have more than doubled since 2014 in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Western Bay of Plenty police responded to 63 fleeing driver incidents in 2014. In 2019, they responded to 143.

Acting Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter says fleeing driver events have been increasing at a national level.

“The statistics show that the Western Bay of Plenty is part of the same overarching trend.”

Combating this is of course of concern not just to Bay of Plenty staff, but to Police from all areas of New Zealand, says Wayne.

A statement issued by NZ First MP Darroch Ball says there needs to be a "re-think" of how fleeing drivers are dealt with across the country.

“This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014. The data shows incidents were relatively steady between 2009 and 2014," says Ball.

“Incidents previously numbered around two hundred a month, this has skyrocketed since 2014 to number around five hundred every month.”

Ball says these numbers have been steadily increasing for the past six years with no action being taken.

“Seven of the twelve police districts experienced an increase in numbers in March, with the Central region seeing almost an 80 per cent increase and Wellington seeing the highest monthly recorded number for the district ever – more than four times the number than a decade ago.

Continued “sky-rocketing” numbers show whatever is happening now is not working, says Ball.

New Zealand First has a member’s bill which would see increased penalties and stricter accountability for fleeing drivers and would correct current holes in the legislation.

Wayne says fleeing driver incidents are "dynamic and fast-changing", and all police involved are aware that safety of the police, public and offenders is paramount.

He asks anyone who is requested to stop by police to simply stop.

“Continuing to drive can have far reaching consequences to those involved, and innocent road users, for possibly years to come."

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Hear! Hear!

Posted on 24-06-2020 13:20 | By morepork

We all know that it is because the Police have to give up pursuits if they are deemed dangerous (and they mostly are...). Instead of abandoning the chase, why not put a drone on it so the movements can be tracked, and appropriate "stop" measures set ahead of the location? If the stated policy is NOT to abandon pursuits but to continue them by other means, it might have a better effect on the behavior of the idiots who think they are heroes for outrunning Police. (This is the same principle as using a Police helicopter, but very much cheaper...)

make punishment hurt

Posted on 24-06-2020 08:46 | By hapukafin

Isaid it long ago when the police said they would give up a chase if they deemed it unsafe.What is unsafe .These drivers know that if they try to get away the police will give up and they have a chance to get away.Then the police have to spend time in finding the driver.The police need to learn how to take cars out.Punishment should be no drivers license for life,and confiscation of car for the driver and the same shorter term punishment for passengers.If its a stolen car then full compensation for any damages.Make the punishment hurt.


Posted on 23-06-2020 18:37 | By dumbkof2

why are we not surprised. these drivers know that if they drive dangerously the police will give up. this is all due to the mamby pamby do gooders. should be immediate loss of licence and confiscation of vehicle for 5 years if you run from the police

They Know

Posted on 23-06-2020 18:11 | By

These morons know that if they reach high enough speeds that the Police will pull out of the chase thereby getting a better chance of getting away. If Officers continue pursuit and the morons crash then people blame the Police. It’s NOT the fault of the Police. If these morons just stopped and didn’t run then that would save crashing but in their brainless heads they deem the risk acceptable. They don’t care about their mates, their families, their own lives. Great friends to have - NOT. Utter selfishness and stupidity. The Police should be allowed to continue the pursuit and if the driver survives he should be charged accordingly and unfortunately that may need to be murder NOT manslaughter.