Po­lice pur­suits

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

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.



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