Police pursuits

August 8th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Two pursuits, one which resulted in the death of a 20-year-old fleeing driver, and another where four teenage girls were seriously injured, have been cleared as textbook responses by the watchdog.

The pursuits did not result in any deaths. Unless it is the police car that spins out of control and hits some pedesterians, it is not the pursuit that results in a death. It is the drunk, stoned, dangerous fleeing driver.

In both cases, the IPCA concluded that police not only considered all relevant risk factors before commencing each pursuit but also fully complied with the law and police policy during the pursuits.

The Auckland incident resulted in serious bodily harm to four girls during a 53-second police pursuit in Kohimarama on the night of March 3, this year.

Earlier that evening, the 16-year-old driver of a stolen Subaru legacy and her three passengers had been involved in a number of altercations which were reported to police.

There had been reports they had attacked another group of youths – even attempting to run them over – and damaged property at a cafe on Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay.

In responding to the reports, police tracked the car down and signalled the driver to stop.

But the female driver accelerated and shortly after hit a concrete island while attempting to overtake another car.

The driver and her occupants crashed into a concrete block wall, with all four sustaining serious injuries.

“This was a pursuit which lasted 53 seconds and covered approximately 1.4km prior to the crash,” IPCA chairman Judge Sir David Carruthers said.

“Police complied with the law and policy throughout the pursuit and the communication, especially in relation to risk, was excellent.”

The Authority found that the main factors causing the crash were the driver’s excess speed and blood alcohol level.

There are obviously some circumstances where a pursuit should be abandoned. But you need to be careful about the incentives you create. If drivers know that the faster they flee, the more likely it is the Police will not follow them – well it provides an incentive to flee as fast as possible.

Tags:

34 Responses to “Police pursuits”

  1. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Here is where I am 100% on the side of the police. It is never the fault of the police. Ever.

    They have no choice but to pursue. To do otherwise would only encourage people to evade police and have the opposite effect in terms of public safety.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. UglyTruth (3,002 comments) says:

    IPCA concluded that police not only considered all relevant risk factors before commencing each pursuit but also fully complied with the law

    Did the police respect the right to ordinary use of a public road? If they didn’t then they did not comply with the law.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 15 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. mikenmild (8,762 comments) says:

    Kea
    It is not as black and white as some might like to think. There are occasions when the only responsible thing to do is to abandon a pursuit in the interests of safety, and the Police’s own guidelines reflect this.

    Ugly
    What would Alfred the Great have to say about police pursuits?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. peterwn (2,933 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth – but the offender in such cases does not. The illogical extension to a ‘no pursuits’ policy is the police make no attempt to stop any vehicle in case the driver hits the gas. Traffic enforcement would then be very difficult and the road toll goes up. Unfortunately there are going to be deaths anyway. A reasonable pursuits policy would save the lives of innocent people but with a higher death toll among fleeing drivers and their passengers.

    What law are you thinking of? There are exemptions in traffic law for police and other emergency services. It is a balancing of rights. For example an ambulance or fire appliance rushing to a call where life is at risk does adversely affect the rights of other road users, but this is considered acceptable.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    mikenmild, Think about the effect of non-pursuit in the minds of offenders… You can figure it out. Or maybe I should see what a 8th century English king has to say on this… or the Ten Commandments :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. UglyTruth (3,002 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth – but the offender in such cases does not.

    Because offenders are persons.

    What law are you thinking of?

    Common law, but not the perverted version that the state uses.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    Alfred the Great, roughly translated from the Anglo-Saxon says: The Huse-carles shall not be impeded in their pursuit of fleeing Saxon dogs. And…oh shit I’ve burned the bloody cakes again !

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. mikenmild (8,762 comments) says:

    Kea
    There’s a limit. Police aren’t expected to pursue in such a manner that their own lives are in serious danger. Someone may speed away in such a manner that they are likely to crash and injure themselve or others. Police are not always obligated to pursue in the same reckless manner.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Nick R (443 comments) says:

    I am always curious about the way the Police always seem to claim they abandoned their pursuit seconds before the fleeing suspect crashed. Does anyone believe that?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    mikenmild, the effect of that would be to encourage some offenders to flee when it is most dangerous and most likely to cause harm to others.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. mikenmild (8,762 comments) says:

    Nick
    Quite a few pursuits last for only a matter of a minute or two in total. If a chase has becomes so dangerous that the police stop the pursuit, it should be no great surp[rise that the offender crashes moments later.
    Kea
    That’s a possibility, but still not necessarily a reason for the police to continue a pursuit where they are only likely to add to the eventual carnage.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Elaycee (4,064 comments) says:

    Agree with Kea – it can never be the fault of the Police is some moron kills himself / herself because he / she ignored the lawful instruction by the Police to pull over. If he / she did a runner / lost control / had an accident, there is only one person to blame and that person is the driver of the fleeing car. Not the Police.

    100% of these ‘accidents’ could be avoided if the moron fleeing the scene, pulled over as instructed.

    Sorted.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. mikenmild (8,762 comments) says:

    I agree with that Elaycee, but it would be the fault of the police concerned if a police car continued a dangerous pursuit and crashed injuring a bystander.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. UglyTruth (3,002 comments) says:

    100% of these ‘accidents’ could be avoided if the moron fleeing the scene, pulled over as instructed.

    Morons have rights too. The reason that police in general do not recognize these natural rights is because of a corrupt judiciary.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Sadu (123 comments) says:

    I find it curious that it is ALWAYS the actions of the police that are called into question. Why is that?

    Surely the question should be asking why the perp chose to initiate a high-speed escape and put lives at stake?

    The decision to pursue should be based entirely on the safety of the police officer and the general population – and if the suspect has kids/passengers in the car (I have no problem with fleeing drivers killing themselves, but when passengers are involved it becomes a grey area for me). Does this risk of pursuit outweigh the risk of allowing some fuckwit to continue loose on the streets to do another crime another day? People forget that there is considerable risk in letting these people go free.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. mikenmild (8,762 comments) says:

    I think you will find that in most cases of high-speed pursuits charges are laid against the pursued. That police officers’ actions are reviewed against law and policy after such incidents should perhaps be a cause for reassurance rather than concern.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. JeffW (303 comments) says:

    In my opinion, Government should not spend huge amounts of money trying to fight Darwinism, and police should not stop pursuing idiots on the basis that Darwinism might come into play.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. holysheet (192 comments) says:

    uglytruth, what planet are you on. All you comments above are so much crap. What rights do these morons have? They loose all the rights everyone else has, the minute they decide not to stop. It’s that simple.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. mikenmild (8,762 comments) says:

    Apparently, Ugly read in a book somewhere that King Alfred found something in the Bible that said everyone is free to use public roads without restriction…
    That’s what the chemtrails will do to your brain.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. holysheet (192 comments) says:

    That’s what the chemtrails will do to your brain.
    Wouldn’t you need a brain to be affected by chemtrails?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    Nick R (370) Says:

    I am always curious about the way the Police always seem to claim they abandoned their pursuit seconds before the fleeing suspect crashed. Does anyone believe that?

    Yes – the reason why is that when the offender notices that he’s not getting red & blue lights flashing in his car, he suddenly starts checking his mirror to see where the cops are, and that’s when his concentration isn’t on the road ahead.

    So ironically the moments after a pursuit is abandoned are some of the most dangerous.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Bullitt (135 comments) says:

    I can’t think of a single situation where police should stop a pursuit. There may be occasions where it is so dangerous that they should continue the pursuit at a much slower pace than the car they are pursuing but they should never give up as long as they know where the car in front of them has gone/is going. Any consequences of any chase should fall on the fleeing driver.

    Obviously there may be situations where a police officer drives so badly they are the cause of an crash which would not have been caused had the police officer been up to a reasonable standard. In this case the police officer should be reprimanded the same way any other employee would be but the fault of the crash (eg if an innocent bystander gets hurt) should still fall on the fleeing driver.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. lilman (659 comments) says:

    Run and die,good riddance

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    ….”So ironically the moments after a pursuit is abandoned are some of the most dangerous.”….

    Makes sense….I never thought about it that way but it sure explains the number of incidents that occur immediately after the chase is called off. That said, I still reckon that police shouldn’t abandon the chase. There would be far fewer pursuits needed if the potential offenders knew that there was no chance of the police backing off until they pulled over or crashed.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Dennis Horne (2,059 comments) says:

    It is an intractable problem. Police have no real way of knowing beforehand if a driver will stop when signalled. If the car is stolen the likelihood of the driver fleeing must increase. It would be interesting to know how much. If it is significant, and especially when young people are spotted, perhaps the police could discreetly follow the car and call for helicopter surveillance.

    I still like my idea of a guided harpoon. Perhaps the Japanese could do the scientific research.

    @Kea. What you are saying is it is never the fault of the police that a chase ensues if the driver does not stop. But the argument is not about fault, it is about outcomes, especially when people other than the driver are killed.

    I wonder if in future, when our every move is monitored, cars will have devices that police can activate to lock the doors and stop the car.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. UglyTruth (3,002 comments) says:

    What rights do these morons have?

    Natural rights. But because of judicial corruption these rights are not generally recognized.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. rightoverlabour (61 comments) says:

    Its a great result when fleeing idiots try to take on stationary trees, powerpoles, concrete barriers etc. Even better when the whole gang in the car gets taken to the morgue. No court case, no expensive imprisonment and no chance of ever doing it again. Fleeing the police is playing suicide by cop. In other parts of the world the odds of a good outcome are increased when cops open up with semi-automatic weapons on the fleeing idiots. Keeps the tree huggers happier…

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Dennis Horne (2,059 comments) says:

    @UglyTruth. Morning, UT. Not morning? It’s morning somewhere. All in the custom, use of language, location, perspective …

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    UglyTruth

    There is only one inalienable right in this world….that is to defend yourself against someone who is trying to kill you.

    All other “rights” are the construct of governments or faiths & can be overridden by a more powerful authority.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    nasska, I agree entirely, though I would point out that even the right to defend yourself has to be fought for. There is really no such thing as a right.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    Kea

    The right to defend yourself is always under attack, especially by government, but IMHO can never be extinguished. It is probably the only “right” that exists in raw animal nature.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    UT,

    quoting yourself quoting definitions is neither proof nor argument. Try either of those (although preferably both) and you will get a better reception here on KB.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. UglyTruth (3,002 comments) says:

    quoting yourself quoting definitions is neither proof nor argument.

    There are other ways of showing truth.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. UglyTruth (3,002 comments) says:

    There is only one inalienable right in this world….that is to defend yourself against someone who is trying to kill you.

    All other “rights” are the construct of governments or faiths & can be overridden by a more powerful authority.

    No, at common law natural rights are more than the right to defend yourself.

    According to Blackstone: “Those rights then which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are;”
    http://www.constitution.org/tb/tb-1102.htm

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.