Po­lice pur­suits claim­ing more lives


The num­ber of peo­ple killed dur­ing po­lice pur­suits has in­creased every year since 2014.

Po­lice sta­tis­tics re­leased un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act show 29 peo­ple were killed be­tween 2013 and 2017 dur­ing po­lice pur­suits.

The lat­est deadly chase claimed the lives of a 12-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy when they veered off the road near Palmer­ston North last week.

This came af­ter Porirua teen Bai­ley Pat­more, 15, died when the driver of a stolen car crashed near Tawa last month while flee­ing po­lice.

Pat­more, who was in the boot at the time, was one of six peo­ple, most un­der the age of 17, in the hatch­back.

The deaths bring the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple killed in po­lice pur­suits this year to eight. There are thou­sands of chases every year.

In 2016, there were 3323 po­lice pur­suits na­tion­wide, and 3141 chases up un­til Oc­to­ber 2017.

On av­er­age, just over half of those are aban­doned due to speed, en­dan­ger­ing the pub­lic, los­ing the flee­ing ve­hi­cle or for other rea­sons.

Po­lice re­fused to say what the top speed reached dur­ing a po­lice pur­suit was as ‘‘mak­ing that in­for­ma­tion pub­lic could en­dan­ger the safety of any per­son’’ and sen­sa­tion­alise chases.

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