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17 dead in police chases

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, November 16th, 2010 - 131 comments
Categories: law and "order", police - Tags:

In the last 12 months, 17 people have been killed in police chases. Many more injured. They might be criminals but they don’t deserve to die. Yet the Police policy – chase anything that flees – is killing them. The carnage needs to end. The human and financial cost is unbearable. But the Police are determined to continue. The government needs to step in.

H/T No Right Turn

131 comments on “17 dead in police chases”

  1. grumpy 1

    In other countries they have a crime of “evasion”. Put a madatory prison sentance on that and the problem would go away.

    Why treat the police as to blame when responsibility lies with the idiots who evade?

    • felix 1.1

      The police are blameless, grumpy?

    • Bored 1.2

      Punish, punish, imprison, imprison, fine, punish, hang them high…the standard NZ response to that which causes them grief. Let you into a little secret, it only works post event, the idiots who get chased dont think about it before the event.

      Dont get me wrong, my sympathy levels for these drivers is lower than shark shit, but the fear of punishment is not going to stop these idiots. Prohibitions dont work either. What has been noticed is that people with empathy dont go around hurting others through antisocial or dangerous actions. That might give you a clue as to a more effective preventative measure.

    • Blighty 1.3

      17 dead grumpy.

    • jcuknz 1.4

      They make the choice, they pay the price … sad when they involve innocent people in their stupidity.

  2. deemac 2

    the police can’t win – if they fail to stop someone who’s driving dangerously and who then kills someone (this has happened) then they get blamed for not stopping them. What they need are better techniques for stopping crazy drivers.

    • felix 2.1

      It’s a pity that the police have spent the last 30 years behaving like thugs and crooks, intimidating, raping, abusing, insulting, bullying, beating and ignoring ordinary citizens.

      If they hadn’t then we wouldn’t have a whole generation who see them as the enemy, and they wouldn’t need any special techniques to get people to stop. They’d just have to ask.

      • grumpy 2.1.1

        Chip? Shoulder?

      • insider 2.1.2

        What, all of them? Every single man jack?

        • felix

          Who said that, insider?

          Oh, no-one. As usual.

          • insider

            You said it.

            “It’s a pity that the police have spent the last 30…etc”

            “If they hadn’t then we wouldn’t have a whole generation who see them as the enemy…”

            Looks pretty inclusive and all encompassing to me.

            • felix

              Nah, it’s very general language. Where is the qualifying phrase to make it all-encompassing? You mean “whole”?

              Ok, take that out and respond to the underlying sentiment if it suits you better – the cops have deservedly lost the respect of large numbers of citizens.

              • insider

                In this case it’s the definite article. I think it’s reasonable to infer that if you say ‘the police’ collectively have been doing a whole lot of very specific things that you mean they have all been up to one or more of them. Hence the original question.

                Incidentally I think it is the merger of police and traffic that has been a major cause in decline in respect because they are most often visible dealing with relatively minor traffic incidents rather than crime.

                • felix

                  Ok I get that. I’m saying “The Police” generally. As a group. As a culture. As a lifestyle.

                  Also I agree about the merger. Definitely another factor. I’m sure there are many more.

                  • insider

                    Do you remember that Taihape cop who said he could give 100 tickets by breakfast. I think he was an attitude changer.

                    Plus (for me) the idiot cop in Otaki who stood in the middle of SH1 on Wellington Anniversary weekend and caused a multi km back up because he wanted to check every northbound car’s WOF. Tosser.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Remember the Taihape copper? Too right! He’s now based in Feilding and to add to the misery, he’s twice been elected to the Manawatu District Council on a zero ideas, sorry, zero rates platform.

      • rich 2.1.3

        What Felix said

      • jbanks 2.1.4

        “and they wouldn’t need any special techniques to get people to stop. They’d just have to ask.”

        Do yo seriously believe this ridiculous shite?

        Here’s a pointer for you – criminals don’t want to be caught.

        • Colonial Viper

          If they hadn’t then we wouldn’t have a whole generation who see them as the enemy, and they wouldn’t need any special techniques to get people to stop. They’d just have to ask.

          Ah jbanks, as you see it makes much more sense if you bother to quote felix in context.

          • jbanks

            Nope still just as retarded.

            Even if criminals viewed police as friendly they wouldn’t stop trying to get away. Criminals flee police because they don’t want to be caught, not because they see the police as an enemy.

            • Vicky32

              Define ‘criminal’… They’re people – and the msm notwithstanding someone is *not* a killer, rapist, “crumnal” etc until actually convicted (and sometimes not even then).

              • jcuknz

                You are correct that likely it is possible that they are not criminals, they have not been convicted, but they are ordinary stupid people doing a criminal act. If we could get rid of them without causing damage to other human life and damage to property it would be wonderful. Maybe we should cut out teaching anything about the 3Rs and concentrate of teaching sensible driving practices?

                • Vicky32

                  “Maybe we should cut out teaching anything about the 3Rs and concentrate of teaching sensible driving practices?”
                  How about both/and?
                  I hope by “getting rid of” you mean educating them..

        • felix

          banksie this isn’t about hardened criminals. For the most part, it’s about idiot young drivers with no respect for the law or the police.

          Are you disputing that the police have lost a great deal of respect over the past few decades or are you disputing that the police themselves have contributed to this by their behaviour?

          • jbanks

            I’m disputing that if people perceived police as nice guys then they wouldn’t flee and would magically be willing to face the consequences of their activities.

            • felix

              Then you’re deliberately misconstruing what I said.

              The police have lost respect, and they deserve to have lost respect. It has nothing to do with people perceiving them as “nice guys” and it has nothing to do with magic.

              I think you watch too much tv.

              • higherstandard


                Agreed there was a time a few decades back when they would have been close to the top of the list.

                What I like is that politicians and MPs appear in the top10 least respected.

              • jbanks


                You’re the one who said that IF police hadn’t acted poorly and so actually were respected, then in order to to stop “crazy drivers”, “They’d just have to ask.”

                This is what you said, and it’s a load of poppycock.

                • felix

                  Why are you putting quote marks around things I never said? It’s all there in black & white, there’s no point making shit up.

                  And yes, people who respect the law and respect the police don’t try to outrun them. Therefore (stick with me now, I know this is the tricky bit for you) if MORE kids respected the police then FEWER kids would engage in this shit.

                  Or maybe you’re right when you say “some people are just born bad and need punishing”.

                  • jcuknz

                    It doesn’t and shouldn’t matter how the Police behave .. and there are usually a few bad apples in any barrel … the problem is that the media have glorified the ignoring of law and authority for decades now… add that to juvenile high spirits and so much more lethal means to kick over the traces and cause harm to themselves and their friends … we generally have a problem.

                    TV for instance started in this country back in 1962 [maybe 1961 not sure] … that is nearly fifty years of knocking authorities off their perches … no wonder we have a problem.

      • we wouldn’t have a whole generation who see them as the enemy, and they wouldn’t need any special techniques to get people to stop. They’d just have to ask.

        I agree with the first bit about police behaviour. But surely you’re not suggesting that fleeing criminals don’t stop purely because they fear a beating?

        They’re usually young, male, poorly educated and pumped up on testosterone. The chase is a major thril for them, just like they’ve seen on the TV. The possibility of an innocent third party being killed doesn’t even enter their head – after all, it never happens on the TV and in the movies, does it?! Not even on the “police chase” “reality” shows!

        And the police are exactly the same, but with an added belief that their dangerous driving is a) not dangerous, because they’re “trained” and b) righteous.

        Civilising the police won’t impact one iota on the first group, but it will halve the number of hyped up aggressive idiots involved in the chase by removing the officers from the equation.

        That in turn will drastically reduce numbers in the former category, because it’s not much fun squealing round the streets with no one actually chasing you. As for the rest – then I agree with grumpy. A specific charge of evading police in a dangerous manner (so as to avoid it being used against people who simply run away on foot, for instance) and harsh penalties, including long term (if not permanent) loss of the right to drive.

        And before the hard-liners ask, yes I’ve been burgled, had my car broken into, been assaulted (more than once) etc. Do I want the offenders chased at high speed through the streets? No. Not because my heart bleeds for them, but because no innocent third party should have to pay with their life for the return of my GPS or my VCR or to revenge my black eye. Simple as that.

        • felix

          “But surely you’re not suggesting that fleeing criminals don’t stop purely because they fear a beating?”

          No, I’m not sure how you got that from my comments. I’m suggesting that it’s probably wrong to characterise them as criminals when by and large we’re not talking about bank robbers fleeing a crime scene, we’re talking about – as you say – young, poorly educated males pumped up on testosterone.

          With fast cars, time to kill, and no respect for the law.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Because you said:

            police have spent the last 30 years … bullying, beating and ignoring ordinary citizens. If they hadn’t then … they wouldn’t need any special techniques to get people to stop. They’d just have to ask.

            Sorry if I misinterpreted but I read that as atrributing fear of the consequences of stopping as outweighing fear of the consequences of escaping (which, admittedly, don’t register highly if at all).

            But really I was using that as a convenient jumping-off point for pointing out that the young, poorly educated, adrenalin-fuelled, testosterone-pumping young males in the fleeing car aren’t a lot different from the young, poorly educated, adrenalin-fuelled, testosterone-pumping young males (and sometimes females) in the pursuing car.

            A police chase is no different (in terms of skill level involved and probable outcome) than your average street drag race, and should be just as illegal, unless there’s a “clear and present danger” in letting the fleeing driver escape (e.g. he’s said he’s on the way to kill someone).

            • felix

              I totally agree with that Rex.

              But no, it wasn’t the fear of the consequences I was getting at but more the general decline in people’s trust of, and therefore respect for and willingness to comply with, the police.

          • jbanks

            Yeah I wonder :rolleyes:

            You really are a moron.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    The 17 dead aren’t all criminals, Zet. Passengers and bystanders are on the list as well. What amazes me about these chases is the spooky way the police call off the chase seconds before the crashes occur. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard that said since one I partially witnessed in Wanganui a few years ago.

    I say partially because I saw both vehicle and police car a kilometre or more from the intersection where a pedestrian was killed. The police claimed that they had broken off the chase before the intersection, but witnesses said they flew through it with lights and sirens blazing.

    I gather that the Police are now going to refer to the chases as instances of fleeing drivers, so we are not reminded that some of the young people driving at insane speeds in these races are police officers.

  4. burt 4

    I think the problem is that Police give up the chase. In almost all cases involving a crash the reports say that Police had just given up the chase a few moments earlier…

    • lprent 4.1

      In almost all cases involving a crash the reports say that Police had just given up the chase a few moments earlier…

      I have noted that as well. Don’t you find that uniformity even a little bit suspicious? Or should I chalk that up to your credulous nature?

    • burt 4.2

      Chalk the fact you had to ask me if I found it suspicious up to your credulous nature.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        Nah, there is no need to get all defensive about it. It was a genuine question (albeit with the required degree of sarcasm to fit my online persona)…

        Of course I also note that you didn’t actually answer the question. So I will chalk that to you sucking up the polices bullshit – credulously..

        • burt

          I’m sure you are a lovely person lprent – but your online persona is a complete cock.

          I only made the comment because it defies belief that the chase had always ‘just ended’. Of course it is suspicious… or total BS … which is probably more in keeping with how your online persona would see it.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Of course it had just ended, burt. About three seconds earlier… when the coppers realised the person they were chasing had lost control and was headed full tilt towards an immoveable object and thought “Oh shit, not again…”

            Police SOP… don’t lie in court if you can report the truth in such a way that it serves your purposes.

          • felix

            Sometimes you’re just too subtle for them, burt. I knew what you meant.

            • jcuknz

              The Police comments about giving up is simply PR. How on earth can the errant driver know they have given up in their hyped up condition. I ignore the comment as complete nonsense. It is a pity that the Police are so sensitive when they are merely doing the job we pay them for. It is not the Police’s fault that 17 have died but those 17 drivers and their family and friends along with our culture who/which are to blame. All us good people who do nothing.

  5. joe90 5

    Here’s a clue, young male drivers and a constant diet of shit like this and what do you get….cops bro….floor it bro…go hard bro…

    • burt 5.1

      So the problem is the individual laws then… If things that people like are illegal and therefore massively expensive in a sort of public gang subsidy scheme – this kind of thing happens.

      • joe90 5.1.1

        I work part time with a couple of young fellas Burt and they wear every incident like a badge of honour, by lunch time the antics of last night have become legend and one of them reckons he’s got the wheels so he thinks that if the cops chase him he can outrun them. FFS, they’ve even got their own myths, they don’t actually know the bloke but apparently so and so’s cousin out drove the police.
        I’ve tried Burt but honestly, it’s like talking to my boot, nothing I or anybody else says seems to get through to them that doing a runner might be a bad idea and that the odds are that things will end in tears, or worse. And sure, they’re hardly angels but they’re very ordinary working boys with not a bad bone in their bodies.
        So what’s your suggestion Burt, let police carry on with their policies and that’s okay?.
        Because if they do another I reckon another seventeen will probably be dead by this time next year.

  6. Lats 6

    I think it would be reasonable for police to pursue a vehicle long enough to grab a photo of its rego, make, model, etc then back off as soon as it became apparent the fleeing driver was likely to endanger others. It may mean a little more time before the offending driver is caught, but if it saves even one innocent life a policy of this nature must surely be worth adopting. If the vehicle is stolen (likely in many cases I’d imagine) then it is probably going to be abandoned somewhere and found later anyway, although perhaps torched. But a burnt abandoned car is better than one which is crashed and takes a life IMO.

    • burt 6.1

      Special note to criminals: Use a stolen car and dump it after the policy have taken their photo. Repeat as often as required to go about your unlawful business.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        burt, the professional criminals already do. The ones that need to be targeted are the ones in their own vehicles who think that they can drive on main streets as well a race car driver on specialised track.

      • Lats 6.1.2

        Rather that than have innocent bystanders killed by fleeing crims. A car is just a thing that can be replaced, a life isn’t so easy. It’s all about priorities, and mine favour human life over material possessions.

      • Further note to criminals: Don’t forget to wear gloves, of course. But also don’t sweat, drop any hair (hairnets are a really macho look for any would-be top crim) etc.

        And don’t forget that Klingon cloaking device that can protect you from the infrared camera in the Police chopper which can float silently above you, directing patrol cars and K9 units to the point at which you exit the vehicle without the need for a high speed chase.

        Just in case, before you speed off in your stolen vehicle, stop and change it’s tyres for the sort that don’t run flat after a puncture, in case the chopper directs a car with a set of road spikes ahead of you.

        And then, when you offload your ill-gotten gains, make sure that you don’t get caught using fake ID at the hock shop, or that your fence doesn’t grass you up when he gets caught with a garage full of stolen goods.

        Because of course the only way you’ll ever get caught is if some copper high on his own adrenalin and testosterone is prepared to drive even more dangerously than you are.

  7. Richard 7

    What about compulsory installation of engine governors that limit the engine speed to 100 km/h?

    Obviously, won’t help pursuits of illegally modified vehicles, but it will limit (some of the damage anyway) caused by pursuits of stolen vehicles. Plus, probably, make the pursuit a whole lot less fun for all concerned.

    And it would probably help limit general crashing into things as well as crashes post-pursuit.

    • Mark 7.1

      Richard, have you never overtaken someone on the open road before? Sometimes it’s necessary to briefly go a little over 100, so that you spend 10 seconds on the wrong side of the road, rather than a minute. Imagine the carnage (overtaking accidents) that would occur if suddenly no one could go over 100km/h.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        Technically you’re not allowed to go faster than 100 under any circumstances, including overtaking (except maybe rushing to hospital/life threatening situation).

        • Mark

          Technically, you’re quite correct. However, religiously sticking to 100km/h while overtaking is more dangerous than not, and I’m sure anyone with a bit of common sense would agree. You’ll take twice as long (and be on the wrong side of the road twice the distance) to overtake that car going 90 if you’re going 100, rather than 110. Surely no one here would deny ever doing more than 100 during overtaking.?

          • Richard

            “Common sense” would say that if you are going slower, then you need to allow more room for your overtaking manoeuvre. It’s not tricky.

          • felix


            Who cares if you get to do less overtaking?

            • Rex Widerstrom

              Me. Please stop interfering with my rights in order to deal with a tiny minority who abuse those rights.

              I want to be able to have a glass of wine with a meal and then drive home perfectly safely. Stopping me doing so is not going to prevent the asshole who downs a dozen beers in an hour or so and thinks he can make it home.

              I want to be able to overtake a slow moving vehicle at the first available opportunity (a point at which I may not be able to do so at 100km/h because there’s not enough room). Stopping me doing so won’t stop hoons… people will find ways to disable governors just like they get round net filters that screw up my ability to read what I want.

              Really, just… stop it, please. I shouldn’t have to fight for my rights every time so irresponsible shit does something that could be “easily fixed” if only I’d lay down and let you walk all over me.

              • felix

                Sorry, I wasn’t aware you had the right to drive over 100k. My apologies.

                • I have the right to have the law applied fairly, and for appropriate discretion to be applied in its enforcement.

                  Unless you’re seriously advocating that I be barred from driving over 100km/h on the wrong side of the road when overtaking, say, a logging truck and trailer? That I should idle along for several unnecessary minutes, just to obey the law, while placing myself and everyone else at risk?

                  An officer on the Canterbury plains thought so, and almost caused a serious accident chasing me up the side of said truck and then cutting in front of it (so as to get behind me and turn on his lights and siren).

                  Sadly for him, his superior officers didn’t agree and nor, I suspect, would the courts. If, however, we were to change the law to say “thou shalt not, ever, under any circumstances…” then me, and a lot of other people who’ve never caused an injury accident in our lives, are criminalised. It may be legal but it’s not just.

                  And we might as well do away with the courts. And the police, for that matter. A series of cameras alongside every road, automatically cancelling licences, would do the trick.

                  • insider

                    I’m convinced that when I learnt to drive I was taught (and it was in the guide book) that the safest way to overtake was to drop back a distance so you had a clear view and then accelerate hard, which implied that you had to speed to overtake safely.

                    Do you have a similar memory Rex?

                    • Exactly so, insider. And in those days the police were concerned with safe driving, not charge and clearance rates, so they’d never have pulled you up for doing something that was clearly safer than the alternative.

                      Of course you weren’t to accelerate so hard that you lost control – there were, in other words, common sense limits to a common sense rule.

                      But common sense – and courtesy, and acknowledgement of the fact that we are their employers – have all but disappeared from “modern” policing.

                  • felix

                    The context was “what if all the cars were a bit slower”. I reckon that’d be ok. I really don’t care that much about people’s right to endanger others.

              • Richard


                You don’t have a right to exceed 100 kph in 100 kph zone. Your argument merely comes down to you wanting to do something illegal because you think that you are better than others. Grow up.

                You are right that it would be possible to disable an engine governor. However, it is probably something that would be tricky to do to a stolen vehicle (unless you stop and go to a workshop, I guess). So, an engine governor would act to slow a “spur of the moment” pursuit.

                However, it wouldn’t help if somebody went out to deliberately modify their car to re-enable high speed pursuits. Although I guess it might help that they would be committing a vehicle offence merely by modifying the car in that way, so if the police had a hold of the vehicle for other reasons, they could fine/confiscate as appropriate — without first having to purse the vehicle at speed.

      • Richard 7.1.2

        Of course, I have personally exceeded 100 km/h while overtaking, but as Lanthanide says, techically it is illegal to exceed 100 km/h even while overtaking.

        I don’t see why cars limited to 100 km/h would result in more overtaking accidents. Most people overtaking, especially those overtaking dangerously, seem to be exceeding 100 km/h at all times, not just when they are overtaking.

        • jcuknz

          The thought crossed my mind as I drove back from CHCH yesterday that wouldn’t it be great if one’s speed was restricted in passing zones to say 80k in the inside lane. This would then provide plenty of opportunity for drivers to overtake within the 100k limit. But if that was the case the inner lane would be empty as everybody maintained their 100k … obviously there is no solution apart from sensible driving techniques.

      • Vicky32 7.1.3

        If *no one* could go over 100 kph, what’s the problem? Maybe I am naive as I don’t drive, but it seems eminently sensible to me. AFAIK, governors are used in Europe…

        • KJT

          I would be interested to know what proportion of accidents caused by excessive speed occurred under the speed limit. I.e. Going around a corner at 80k when the safe speed is 55k.
          Most of the potential accidents and accidents i have seen while on the road have been those who are either going to fast for the conditions and cross the centreline/ leave the road or those who are passing on blind corners. A lot of the time on Northlands windy roads they are doing less than 100k.

          I think the death penalty for a stupid teenager for running from police is a bit harsh. Often they know the offender and could catch them later or a road block ahead could be used.

    • grumpy 7.2

      Nah, just give the cops a “time freeze” gun and they can just stop time while they walk over and attach a wheel clamp.

    • The Voice of Reason 7.3

      Interesting idea, Richard, but as most chases are in urban areas with 50/60/70 kph zones, 100 kph is still going to be dangerous. Still, I imagine my Jetson’s style future car probably will be speed limited, alcohol sensing and auto piloted with advanced collision avoidance radar. Which will be kewl.

      • Richard 7.3.1

        but as most chases are in urban areas with 50/60/70 kph zones, 100 kph is still going to be dangerous

        Perhaps. But possibly still considerably slower than the speed of crashes/pursuits. I assume that there are statistics on the speed of these?

        Of course, you could always fix the governor to some sort of auto-magical GPS thingy that knows what speed zone you are in.

        • The Voice of Reason

          There’s a link to the IPCA stuff in one of Blighty’s comments above, there may be stats in there. Mind you, I think it’s a fair guess that high speed (100+) is involved in all of them (except OJ’s crawl thru LA that time).

          • Richard

            So, that report says that of 133 pursuits resulting in death or serious injury:
            – 57 did not exceed 100 kph
            – 59 were in the 101-150 kph range.
            – 17 were in the 160 – 200 kph range.

            As far as exceeding the speed limit (there only seems to be proper data on 72 of these):
            – Of the 52 pursuits occurring within a 50 kph speed limit, 29 exceeded 100 kph, the others exceeded at least 70 kph.
            – Of the 20 pursuits occurring within a 100 kph speed limit, 12 exceeded 150 kph, the others exceeded 120 kph.

            • jcuknz

              Interesting Richard .. did your source tell you how many total pursuits there were. I am wondering at the likelihood of those 133 as a proportion of the total number.
              17/133 is one in eight results in you being killed … not good odds and maybe this should be published/promoted .. though I have my doubts it would do any good. But parents could push the very poor odds on survival. And maybe better let their kids they will stand behind them if they stop and are ticketed…

        • jcuknz

          When I was driving in the States recently the principle use of the GPS was to tell me the speed limit … sadly when I went to the UK another model didn’t give me this info. {Garmin/TomTom though perhaps it was just the programming available in the area]]

  8. grumpy 8

    Draco, How would they know it wasn’t stolen unless they catch them?? duh!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The professionals aren’t stupid – they don’t speed as it draws too much attention.

      • Heh heh. Reminds me of the time a “get away car” (not stolen, but loaded with ill-gotten gains taken by a bunch of workers from the premises of an employer who’d ripped them off on their wages) was helpfully given a push-start by a passing police car.

        Or so I’m told *cough*

  9. higherstandard 9

    There are clearly times when a chase is necessary, just as plainly there are also times when a photo of the plate/driver followed by a visit to the place of residence with a car crushing device the next day would probably be safer, cheaper and more effective.

  10. ianmac 10

    “funny that crashes happen just after the chase is abandoned.”
    That may be to do with the psychology of the runner. When hyped up, being chased at speed, adrenalin, hyper driving then suddenly, look behind and the pursuit is over! Reaction. Jubilation like winning the match at the final whistle. Attention un-hyped, careless mistake, crash!
    Especially with callow youth. And not necessarily because the police lied.

    • Vicky32 10.1

      Except that they *do* lie… It’s in the nature of police.

      • The Baron 10.1.1

        Do you actually believe that Deb – cos the vast majority of police I have met have been honest, hard working public servants.

        Bit too much anarcho-socialist wankery going on in this thread for me. I grew out of saying “f*ck tha po-lice” when i was 15.

        • Blighty

          and now you say: ‘who cares if 17 people a year are being killed, we don’t need to discuss a solution that will protect the public and save lives’?

        • Vicky32

          I say that, Baron from my experience. In my life I have met *one* decent police officer, out of the many I have dealt with.
          In Whakatane years ago, I called the police regularly when the evil ex decided he’d drunk enough to perform some spousal abuse – then hid in the bedroom as the cops advised the ex not to “let her get out and complain next time, bro, or we might havta take some notice”…
          That wasn’t the start of it however..

          • The Baron

            I really do sympathise – a disgusting story and poor example of behaviour. And I absolutely do not doubt that there are other bad cops that do lie to, bully and intimidate the public.

            But its a big leap from there to write off the entire force as being full of liars cos “its in their nature”.

            • lprent

              But its a big leap from there to write off the entire force as being full of liars cos “its in their nature”.

              I’d agree with that. I’ve run across a few cops that I wouldn’t want to have around at various times (mostly from team policing) mostly when I’ve been helping manage my apartment block. Some that seem to just be seriously deluded about what the law actually is rather than what they think it is – mostly when they’ve been running rocky through the courts.

              But most have been pretty damn good. In other words pretty much what you see in every major organisation.

              The problem for me is that the police force (ie the hierarchy) don’t appear to have any useful mechanisms to constrain their own internal nutters, don’t train their staff well in experiences learnt*, and don’t appear to take any notice of the IPCA – which makes it completely useless. That I take notice of because it is how I judge organisational services.

              * I’m specifically thinking of the numbers of times that police have arrested rocky for using a megaphone or her voice at protests. For some idiotic reason they never seem to have realized in the last couple of decades that there is absolutely no law against using your voice or a megaphone in a public place during daylight hours and that to tell someone to stop is in fact illegal. That protesting is legal in NZ and that trumped up charges like “intimidation by loitering” used against protesters are a ridiculous waste of everyones time.

              So is charging someone and then a year later not presenting any evidence when it finally makes it to trial. If Simon Powers was actually interested in making the courts more efficient, then he should charge the police force for the use of the courts when they misuse them. It’d be a lot more effective than the penny-ante crap that he has been coming out with recently**.

              Those few idiots in the police force entirely color my view of them as a body. But again, that is how I view most organisations. It isn’t the overall organisation that I remember providing a good service. It is the few fuckwits I run across that I remember and talk about (which is why I don’t use telecom, some car repair places, a couple of operating systems, ….. etc).

              ** He could start by telling the police that if they can’t make a case against the ‘terrorists’ that they arrested in 2007 using illegally obtained evidence and on the most flimsy of grounds, that the court costs will be charged against the unit that provided the illegal ‘evidence’. That should get rid of that particular training ground of institutional paranoia because they don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of obtaining convictions on anything more than a few minor charges – mostly summary offences punishable by fines. What is the penalty for having a couple of old 0.22″ rounds in your possession (and no weapon to fire them from)?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yes, the police actually lie. They’ve done it to me but, unfortunately, I was still young (sub 20), didn’t have a lawyer and still terrified/unquestioning of authority (Unfortunate side effect of growing up in an abusive household).

          • grumpy

            I have no doubt these things happen, I have had no real issues with police but know some are absolute bastards and some are the nicest guys you could meet.

            What is interesting is that such a lot of regular contributors to this site have had such bad experiences with the police. Is there a correlation between bad experiences with “authority” and a hardening of political ideology to the “left”?

            • Vicky32

              I wouldn’t say so, though it’s possible…. There’s authority, then there’s abuse of authority, which is my problem with the police…
              I ought not to have said what I did “They lie… it’s in their nature”… because that’s true of most, but not all.

  11. Selene 11

    Personally I believe the Police should never chase a car, it is seriously dangerous. There are other people to think about, pedestrians walking down the streets, people in their front yards, in their houses and minding their own business. People have a right to be safe walking down the street, or on their front lawns or whatever.
    The Police are worse than the hooligans they are chasing. It is bad enough these hooligans break the law but it is far worse when the Police do it- there is a speed limit for a reason! And the Police set a bad example by breaking it! What message are they sending people- that it is okay to fly off the handle, to go speeding through red lights, terrorising people crossing the roads. The Police are not on a race-track where they know the road in front of them BUT are on public streets driving like maniacs down all different roads not knowing where the car they are chasing is going- anything can happen- it is insanity. It is basically Police being ‘boys’ and playing chase. Not good.

    It is absolutely ridiculous this law has not been changed.

    First of all the hooligans drive even more badly, faster and crazier when chased by the Police. So it is frickin obvious if the Police give chase the hooligans are going to take off. So now we don’t just have one nutcase on the road driving like a lunatic we have two (because now the Police are involved), a recipe for disaster.

    I don’t agree with hooligans driving like idiots or driving drunk and I think it is important to stop these idiots from driving by pulling them over by siren or road block. But when the unexpected happens and a hooligan doesn’t stop but takes off this is when the real danger begins. The hooligan is now in a real frazzled panicky state of mind (not good especially if he/she has been drinking) The Police give chase and they are now in their ‘macho-give -chase –state-of-mind’ (so now we have not one but two idiots on the roads).

    The Police need to set an example and THINK about the consequences- as the hooligan they are chasing is going to be acting even more worse now than if he wasn’t being chased.

    Instead of chasing the criminals the Police should be taking down their licence plate, watching the direction they are going in and contacting all the Police active in the vicinity via radio and sorting out a sensible option, because by the end of the night one of these cops will get these guys- in the end. Even if the Police have to visit their homes the next day eventually they will catch up with them.

    Police giving chase is outdated and selfish to ordinary citizens minding their own business. The law needs to change.

  12. prism 12

    I don’t remember police regularly tearing off with their sirens and lights full on in earlier days. The present regime must get the testostorone going – very exciting for the cops. Also the television often has police car chases as entertainment. If it is not a good thing why is this allowed to happen? We complain when some idiot shows how to put together an IED or similar so why make car law breaking exciting.

    When I visit family I have to drive windy and hilly roads that take many hours to cover. Having to worry about driving at the speed limit at all times can leave me stuck behind a smelly exhaust, a variable driver, or uncomfortably beside a slow driver who puts on a surge as I pass them etc. If overtaking, the driver should attempt that safely and at the optimum speed. What I would like is more passing lanes every 50 km or so. And would it be better if police were in two separate units again by the way?

  13. peterlepaysan 13

    We all need a police force that never chases anything.

    What an idyllic society that would be.

  14. Nick K 14

    What’s the government going to do? It’s an operational matter. The government cannot and should not intervene. They’re not police chases – they’re fleeing criminals and they should stop running.

    • Marty G 14.1

      it’s not an operational matter. The Police, like any government organisation, are ultimately responsible to the minister and ministers have the power to order policy to be changed. They can’t interfere in individual cases but they direct policy – in fact, that’s the job.

      where tasers an operational matter or was introducing them a ministerial decision? Clue: it was the second one.

      • lprent 14.1.1

        Not really. The minister has very few controls over the police – the police act is pretty explicit about that. They are responsible to the crown, not the government, just like the armed forces are. The power that the government has is solely that of the purse. They can assign new money for specific purposes. They can constrain or even reduce payment.

        Everything else is persuasion.

        • prism

          Is that so lprent, that the government have little control over the police, just the crown. And who is the representative of the crown – the Governor General? Who only acts in extremis. That’s a shock. Something ought to be done about this! No wonder they can get away with gang sex on young women as a police unit etc etc

          • lprent

            The alternative is probably worse. Remember that we’ve had such luminaries as John Banks as police minister, and David Lange as prime minister (I still remember his idea that we could send the SAS into Fiji to sort out the first coup with a wince).

            As it is, the police and armed forces are influenced by the government mostly in the prospect of future funding. If they get instructions to do something quite objectionable, then they can choose to simply wait for a change of government. It is a delicate political balance that I prefer.

            The only thing letting it down at present is the rather lax internal discipline inside the police IMHO.

  15. g says 15

    all this kerfuffle over fleeing speeding drivers, what kind of a hornets nest will it stir up when the idea of illegally and unsafely modified cars is added to the mix?
    the police where on nat rad talking about the case of a kiddie on the footpath that was killed by being hit by a modified car.


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