Steve Anderton (Oct 26) is right to be critical of the arguments put forward by the anti-police pursuit lobby.
In how many parts of New Zealand can the police whistle up a helicopter at a moment’s notice? And since the majority of pursued cars are stolen, how does determining their legal ownership help apprehend the would-be escapees?
He might have gone further by drawing attention to the original TV news report about the fatal chase, which almost in a footnote said that the proportion of successful ‘‘escapes’’ has increased since the police began modifying their chase policy.
Of course it has. Any half-way competent crim will know that his chances of getting away improve with each new restriction – the more dangerously he drives, the quicker the chase will be called off.
When fleeing offers a betterthan-even chance of avoiding apprehension, high-speed flight will be the response.
There is indeed a problem with police chases, but simplistic nonsolutions do not help.