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Collins to Police: keep on killing

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, December 7th, 2010 - 39 comments
Categories: law and "order", police - Tags:

19 dead in Police chases in 12 months. You’re more likely to be killed in a police chase than by being shot. Most of the dead were being chased for minor traffic offences. What a waste of life. Collins’ response: harsher sentences. Cause tougher sentences has brought down crime so far, eh? Nats have no ideas. The death toll mounts.

39 comments on “Collins to Police: keep on killing”

  1. ianmac 1

    Not sure about all this. If we say do not pursue anyone who doesn’t stop, does this mean we give a free pass to the burglar on his way home, or the suspected drug dealer, or the drunken teenager or drunken dad, or me because I know that if I just keep on driving, public opinion is such that I’ll be OK?
    Stop the driver and be damned.
    Don’t stop the driver and be damned.

  2. No ianmac – it’s not a ‘black and white’ issue, though Collins and the Nats believe it is. Their instinct that tells them that authority must be obeyed is at the root of the problem here. They lack the finesse needed to build a more subtle system that would reduce deaths-from-pursuit and fall back on their life experience that tells them that might is right and you\’d better stop, OR ELSE!
    It doesn’t work and the sad thing is they won\’t back down and explore more subtle ways of dealing with this issue, now that they’ve drawn their line in the tarmacadam.
    Collins is the WORST possible person to have in this role, given her sociopathic personality.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Here’s an idea: instead of making yet another public safety add about speeding or drink driving which everyone is thoroughly bored by and just tunes out, why not make an add about police persuits? Emphasise the risk and danger to yourselves and others on the road if you decide to run, and compare it to getting a fine or ticket for whatever minor offence it was you committed.

    A split-screen ad would be an easy way to show it – on the left show the person pulling over and getting a ticket. On the right, show them taking off and crashing through an intersection. You can then fade out both sides and show the court-room 9 months later for the crash side where the guy is convicted for dangerous driving causing death, and have his face look a bit smashed up/scarred just for good measure.

    Another version of the ad could be done where they do actually manage to get away, but because the police have the license plate number, they turn up and fine them anyway, and add a dangerous driving charge as well.

    Watching one of the traffic cop shows, I commented to my boyfriend on why it’s no surprise that these people choose to run. Getting tagged by a cop a lot of the time seems like ‘bad luck’ or ‘unfair’, that is these people aren’t taking responsibility for their actions, and are instead blaming the police. So in that situation, it’s no wonder these people think they can get away with driving off an avoiding the $200 fine for whatever ‘minor’ infraction they made.

    It’s like all the people whinging about being fined for speeding, and that the police are just “revenue gathering”. Pro tip: if you weren’t breaking the law in the first place, they’d have no reason to fine you.

    • The ad idea is worth pursuing. Wouldn’t work for all of them, or even a majority (a burst of adrenalin and testosterone is a potent cocktail, stronger than any other drugs we don’t want people driving under the influence of). But even if it saves one life, as they say…

      Pro tip: if you weren’t breaking the law in the first place, they’d have no reason to fine you.

      Further pro tip: Not all laws are fair, and few are applied fairly. If you’re working hard, raising your family and doing your best to fix up your old car and keep it roadworthy so you can keep going to work, then being fined for some minor infraction like rust* does look like revenue gathering and is a minor infraction.

      And if it’s going to take food off the table, or mean you can’t afford to register the car, then you’re going to wonder if it might not be a good idea to chance running for it.

      * I’m not talking a dangerous, rusted-through chassis. Just yesterday I heard, sitting at the back of the court, the case of a guy whose car was declared unroadworthy by police because of rust on the bonnet. He’d done the right thing and stopped; now his ability to work was at risk. Wonder if he’ll pull over next time?

  4. ianmac 4

    But robertguyton. You didn’t give an answer. Should drivers feel that if they take off in say a stolen car, and they drive fast enough police will give up the chase? What would you do? (By the way I dislike Collins style intensely!)

    • Blighty 4.1

      the rules are already that the police give up if the chase gets dangerous, so drivers can already “feel that if they take off in say a stolen car, and they drive fast enough police will give up the chase”

      that rule was introduced after a (much smaller) spate of police chase deaths. clearly, people were running before that change.

      • Bored 4.1.1

        “If the chase gets dangerous”….you are in a stolen car with some other scared teens and have little driving experience. You know you are going down so you take risks. behind you is a cop car, super fast with a trained pursuit driver, you just cant shake him….that sounds kind of dangerous before you even move.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        I’m wondering if the statistics show that more deaths are happening after the change because people now feel that they can run away and do so.

        Obviously, every cop car now needs cameras in it to pick the car and rego automatically. Running away just gets you another charge.

        • ianmac 4.1.2.1

          Only if it driven by the owner. I think one of the most recent deaths was in a stolen car and I wonder if a car thief would have increased his belief that escape was a viable option.

    • Alwyn 4.2

      Does anyone know what proportion of the fatal accidents, where the driver ran, were in stolen cars and what proportion were in their own car, (or in a car where the registered owner would know who was driving).
      If the majority were, say, in stolen cars then a policy of no pursuit would seem to encourage fleeing rather than stopping. The other way around wouldn’t although I suppose you would have to make the registered owner liable for the fine as is the case with speeding tickets and parking offences.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Pass laws kids don’t understand and make a big hue and cry about boy racers is anyone wearing a hoodie and Christ aren’t they rebels and by fuck we are going to crush their cars just you see if we don’t, it’s a war and they’re a menace to society…

    and of course they’ll bloody well not stop.

    Judith Coffins. What a nut.

    • Blighty 5.1

      how many cars have been crushed? I wonder.

      None that I’ve heard of.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Passing laws is an old trick to convince the electorate that something is being done.

      Making sure the laws are workable, effective, actually enforcing them, meh someone elses problem.

  6. ianmac – I believe I did answer your question (that began: If we say do not pursue…?) with a no.

    Your next question: Should drivers feel that if they take off in say a stolen car, and they drive fast enough police will give up the chase? I’d answer as well by saying no, they shouldn’t feel that, but they are, you’ll notice, doing that now, when they know that police will pursue them (up to a point), so I’m not sure how your question relates to the issue.
    What would I do?
    Remove Collins from her role as Tyrant, eject all latent Garretts from the Government, purge the national Party of its Might is Right beliefs, look to other communities where this issue has been improved upon by more subtle means and instigate those methods here. Quite frankly, the situation is dire, as those things will not happen under a government like this one that believes it mustn’t give ground, must drive home its advantage and dominate all alternative views. Can you see Collins changing direction on this? Nope. Slam’em down is the way foward for an authoritarian. I work as a highschool teacher sometimes and see the same approach failing regularly. Attention to the small details is the way ahead, the Mighty Rod of Punishment and Control is not.
    Btw – the attempts by the Government to spin this issue into another form by changing the way we report/hear reported the deadly events, disgusts but doesn’t surprise me.
    Flee? Their fault for sure.

  7. Pascal says it better.

  8. Surely the chase / not chase equation comes down to a risk assessment?

    A drunk driver may kill if allowed to continue on his way. That makes him a candidate for stopping. Then it comes down to weighing a whole host of other risk factors.

    A burglar, hoping to creep home undetected, is highly unlikely to kill someone. Therefore don’t pursue. Follow him discreetly and arrest him when he gets there. Or, if you know who he is, scoop him up later. Or let him go, knowing you’ll catch him eventually since most criminals are pretty stupid.

    Police policy at present seems to ignore the risk assessment and simply say “all criminals must be stopped, and if they flee, chased”.

    I’ve been burgled. It’s appalling, and annoying. But would I be happy if an innocent persopn – or even the burglar – was killed while trying to effect an arrest / get my stuff back? Hell no.

    The question, however, is how many other people value their big screen TV higher than they value human life? It’s these people to whom Collins et al is playing. And I fear their numbers are quite large, and increasing.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Surely the chase / not chase equation comes down to a risk assessment?

      It seems quite clear that some police officers are severely misunderestimating the risks.

      • Totally ignoring them in favour of “wow, now I can drive like I’ve seen them do on ‘The Shield’!!” more like it.

        Considering police are often the first, or amongst the first, to the scene of a serious accident they’re the last people I’d think would take an incautious attitude to the consequences. But as I’ve said above, a squirt of adrenalin and testosterone is more powerful than most ingestable drugs.

  9. Sorry to harp … but the problem here is blame.
    It’s terribly important to an authoritarian to apportion blame to a person or group. Those who are to blame must be punished. It’s a simple as that.
    ‘Another’ group might think ‘There’s a problem here. People are fleeing from police and dying in smashes. How can we best solve the problem?’
    The two approaches define the adopters.

    • ianmac 9.1

      robertguyton. I guess I did not make my self clear.
      I totally agree if you are saying that making an assumption that “they” are bad justifies an authoritarian approach, especially against youth. Punishment is a poor response.
      I agree that Collins is wrong in appealing to the group who believe in punishment is the answer.

      But I am unclear about the solution to the problem.
      I see a person hooning in a car, fast through the town especially if it is a stolen car. Maybe he is running through a red light. (I am not talking about the young people cruising the streets as so-called boy racers.)
      If I am in the patrol car what do I do?
      (A friend reckoned he would get a Valiant, paste the photos of Gang members around the windows, and no patrol would dare stop him.)

  10. vendetta 10

    While the deaths caused as a result of police chases are of course hugely sad and regrettable, I just don’t think you can justify a policy of letting anybody who takes off from a checkpoint go on their merry way. Sure, people already try to evade the police as the law stands … but how many more would do so knowing there will be no attempt to stop them? When has the fact that a few people break the law already been a justification for removing said law?

    All those calling for a more detailed policy with more finesse … I’m all ears, if you can detail one. Otherwise I think the law as it stands is the better of two unsavoury options.

    Anything we can do to improve the situation can and should be done, though: I like Lanthanide’s idea of an education campaign … maybe also with some stats on how likely it is you’ll successfully evade the police (who have the assistance of backup cars, helicopters and the like). And particularly the consequences of facing up to your minor offence versus loss of human life.

  11. mcflock 11

    I’m not sure that the crime of giving in to a silly impulse (not every fleeing driver is a burglar or thief) should be punishable by death.

    Alternative C (A being to keep causing crashes, B being an advertising campaign) is to provide police with the correct tools for the job.
    [infomercial voice]
    Cars are okay for interception, but not for pursuit. What about taking the pressure off the impulse for someone to flee at speed, while boosting your catch rate to in excess of 90%? Can’t be done, you say?

    Helicopters.

    Of course they cost money, but can monitor a wide area, plan the eventual safe stop by arranging ground staff in the “big picture”, and the lack of immediate pursuit slows the driver down. You probably wouldn’t even need extreme coverage for them to have an effect – a few more deployed to various regions, with a unit that roves between regions according to expected workload, would be extremely useful not just for pursuits, but also search operations, drug operations, and so on.

  12. Brett 12

    Big deal.
    Bunch of clowns darwin themselves, as long as no innocent person is injured I don’t see a problem.
    The more of these ass-hats removed from the gene pool the better.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Hey mate, any reason not to just genetically identify them at birth and gas them?

      • Typical lefty troglodyte. Science has moved well beyond those barbaric solutions CV. Nowadays you don’t got to all the trouble and expense of having them give birth, then disposing of the bodies … you sterilise the poor. Much cheaper.

        And anyway, what’s with implying these “ass hats” have mothers, anyway? If we start with that sort of soft cock talk next thing we’ll be acknolwedging that they’ll be grieving… even acknowledging that criminals’ families are secondary victims of their offending.

        Much better we just stay with the belief that they were never someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, grandson… but emerged fully formed as teenagers from a garbage dump someplace, inherently evil and intent on harm.

      • Brett 12.1.2

        Until that technology becomes available, this will have to suffice.

        • Bright Red 12.1.2.1

          your mate Adolf had the technology, Brett.

          You fucken scumbag.

          [lprent: That comment is in the pointless abuse range. Constrain yourself or you’ll find that I do it for you. ]

  13. jcuknz 13

    They make the foolish decision … they pay the price. It is sad about them and for their families, and for those they take out with their action but that’s life … ce vie!
    Wringing hands won’t help the situation.
    As said above .. so many people consider tickets as bad luck not foolish behavior on their part.
    “Telling the police to keep on killing” is a stupid comment. emotional twaddle

  14. ianmac – how about Gordon Campbell’s suggestions?
    “Namely, the so-called ‘Star Chase’ technology described here and which is already on the market. This removes the necessity of Police chasing a vehicle. All Police have to do is get close enough – once – to laser tag the offender, and then Police HQ can follow the movements of the car in real time, and pick them up at their leisure”.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2010/12/07/gordon-campbell-police-pursuit-deaths-catch-22-sis-changes/#sis

  15. aj 15

    Are there more chases and deaths now than 2-4-6-8-10 years ago? What could possibly influence mostly young people to become more reckless than ever? Top Gear mentality.

    • ianmac 15.1

      There are TV programs showing the “best” chases by police mostly on USA roads. Mostly filmed by patrol cars. I think they have been shown on late evening TV, Prime I think, and since they have aired the number of pursuits in NZ have rapidly increased. A connection? I don’t know.

  16. I certainly think there is ianmac. The seeds sown by the ‘chase’ shows are maturing into a deadly crop now.
    Not buying and showing those television shows is an example of more subtle means of reducing the incidence of death by flight/pursuit.

    • ianmac 16.1

      robertguyon: Had a look at Star tag and that would be good. (Wonder if once the technology was known, the driver of the car tagged stops down the road once the pursuit stops, and removes the tag and carries on into the distance. (Gosh. Now I’m thinking like a escaper!”)

  17. Bright Red 17

    Brett sez: “Bunch of clowns darwin themselves, as long as no innocent person is injured I don’t see a problem.”

    In the five years to December 2009 there were 24 deaths (versus 19 since). of those, 6 were passengers in fleeing cars, 3 were bystanders and 1 was a cop.

    there were 91 serious injuries – 40 passengers, 18 bystanders.

    Do they deserve what they get too?

    • Brett 17.1

      People die all the time, the key is to not place yourself in a position were the chances of that happening are greatly increased.
      Shame about the bystanders though, life can be harsh but I guess when your numbers drawn there’s not a lot you can do about it.

  18. “They make the foolish decision … they pay the price. It is sad about them and for their families, and for those they take out with their action but that’s life … ce vie!”

    It’s a simple as that (to a reactionary authoritarian) No ifs and buts, clear cut, black and white.
    Sheeting blame to individuals is the Right Way. Those same people foam over the killing of a kitten and clamour for the criminal scum to be hung. Keep it simple, crush the baddies judith, that’s the key.

  19. Btw – I think the post title is very poorly chosen.

  20. Deadly_NZ 20

    And to add Insult to injury I was burgled I rang the police they were too busy to come and take fingerprints or my statement and as I needed the form for insurance purposes I had to go to the cop shop, imagine my horror that i am pulled up at a checkpoint with 9 fucking cops sitting on thier lazy fucking asses and they had the cheek to tell me they were too busy.. when I got to open my window I just let them have it full bore both barrels told em all about the fact that being useless fat plods sitting on the side of the road when REAL crime is happening. And he wanted to give me a ticket at which I told him to fuck off and that I was on my way to the police station to do his job for him because he was too fucking lazy to get off his fat ass And do it himself.. He still had the gall to write me a ticket and threatened to arrest me for bad language, so I invited him to come to the plod shop, he declined and I laid a massive complaint, but as usual cops policing cops not a good idea.. They dont have a clue how to catch crims but are real good at sitting on the side of the road collecting revenue and guzzling donuts, next they will have mirrored sunglasses with the mirrors on the inside… as to chasing and killing drivers well thats easy they dont need anymore training to do that either….

    And they wonder why there is no respect for them well look at the ditzy bitch in charge of em she ain’t got a clue either….

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