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Cops ♥ Chases

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 pm, January 14th, 2019 - 215 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, class war, crime, Deep stuff, health and safety, police, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

Imagine for a moment, you’re a young person, in charge of a powerful vehicle, driving at speed, with the adrenaline pumping. Are you going to make rational decisions?

Well, that’s the scenario for patrol cops involved in chases.

I can see why a lot of these incidents end in death. All the vehicles involved are being driven by people amped to the max.

Yet yesterday’s senseless killing of three young people was worse that most deaths by cop. In this case, somebody in the Police made the decision to lay road spikes across Blenheim Rd, Christchurch, a busy four lane arterial , knowing that a speeding vehicle was going to drive over them and lose traction.

What did the Police involved think was going to happen?

Did they not factor in the fact that there were others in the car who should have been presumed to be innocent?

Did they not factor in the huge risk to the public?

All to stop a driver who would probably have only been looking at a short spell in prison, at the outside.

Where’s the benefit to society in these chases?

As of March last year, no people had died in Police chases in Queensland in the previous 9 years. Zero. The other Aussie states are similarly less deadly to deal with on the road.

But for some reason, we have to chase to the death.

35 dead in 6 years.

Ironically, just about every car chase death involves a Police spokesperson using a variation on this phrase:

“We ended the chase and shortly after the offender crashed”.

Yeah, I s’pose ….

Look, at the heart of this problem is young people, mainly young men, stealing cars. But that’s it.

A car’s an object, it’s insured, it’s replaceable.

The people that die in these chases are not replaceable.

If the driver of the car in Christchurch had not been apprehended, well, so what?

We give knighthoods to white collar crooks in NZ, so why do we chase blue collar criminals to death?



215 comments on “Cops ♥ Chases ”

  1. ropata 1

    Bad take. The general rule is that dangerous drivers have to be stopped before they kill other people

    • Sabine 1.1

      define dangerous. I actually have driven faster then 138 km/h, on more then one occasion day and night time, and i have incurred no risk of accidents. Mind, i also did not have the police throw spikes at me while driving 138 km/h. The question stands what were the coppers thinking if they were thinking at all.

      to add you now have two or more cars driving really fast, rather then one. I don’t think it increases safety for the population.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        And do we know how long they were driving at the 130+km speed? Do we know whether that was before or after the police started following them? It is so hard to understand without all the facts.

        But the facts are that young men are being panicked and then do ever more dangerous things. This is not adult behaviour from the police. I mention again Transactional Analysis and how useful it is to provide an overview using the three modes of dominant thinking and behaviour – Parent, Adult and Child.

        The police are in an interesting position here; they represent the Parent and Authority Figures, who demand instant behaviour response, from young people who react under the influence of their Child. There is antipathy often in a Parent-Child interaction, and this intensifies here. The Police need to go into Adult mode and use their various techniques to prevent worsening the over-excited behaviour of the young men, who probably are fuelled by some drug including alcohol.

        So what is the Adult approach, what method to use to deal with this situation. Not go to extremes and then throw hands in the air and claim TINA. It is to recognise the likelihood of the op going sour and stop early on, and perhaps never or rarely start at all. Is it the police understanding that they can wound, injure or lead people to death with impunity? Are our streets a training ground for a possible conflict zone?

        • Sabine

          I think that at the end of the day the cops are as human as are teh kids. Kids drive fast, we know that, we have had a few dead by chase now, and we should have figured out a better way then to chase. I think that the cops are supposed to be a ‘parent and authority figure, but when i see some of the young ones i am sorry i don’t get that at all. I see simply someone pulling a job for a paycheque.
          I personally don’t think they should chase, i can’t see how it makes a dangerous situation safer. But the question is fair, are they studying other methods of dealing with these situations, who signs of on the chases, and who is responsible when decisions taken by the police result in dead people. And are you presumed innocent if you are a passenger in a car with the driver going too fast.

          As for your last question, NZ is full of road rage, bad drivers, short tempers and what i call Rugby Mentality behind the wheel, anything to get in front of the car in front of me. NZ streets are a conflict zone.

          • Liminal

            Something like you then Sabine? Entitled or what? Are you above the law driving at 138 km/h – or do you think you are better than the rest? It’s no wonder that NZ has a bad rate of road deaths and injuries, with Kiwis’ fatal combination of attitudes: Go hard out! / She’ll be right! Grow up.

            • McFlock

              It’s not about being above the law. It’s about minimising the danger to everyone involved when the law is enforced. It’s the same reason the Armed Offender Squad prefer to wait people out rather than breaching as soon as they arrive on site.

              These kids didn’t do an armed robbery. They stupidly stole a car, drove at high speeds, and tried to evade a police pursuit. Whether the pursuit was “called off” is irrelevant – the police were still trying to stop them. Turn a corner, you’ve got cop cars and road spikes. How is that different from flashing lights behind you? And how does the spike strip affect traction, even if the spikes don’t blow tyres at high speeds?

              Maybe it would be safer to get them when they finally stop – use a helicopter/drone, or front & follow at a distance with no lights? This time it was the vehicle occupants killed. Not so long ago a police officer was killed deploying spikes.

              • Maybe it would be safer to get them when they finally stop…

                Safer for them, possibly (‘possibly’ rather than ‘certainly’ because this approach would also allow them more time to wrap themselves around a tree without Police assistance). Problem is that it would be much less safe for everybody else, and it’s everybody else who should be the priority concern.

                • McFlock

                  Problem is that it would be much less safe for everybody else,

                  I think that needs to be demonstrated, or at least argued rather than merely asserted. What if the higher pressure of a chase makes a short pursuit much more dangerous than spending the rest of the night just hooning around? Not just for the hoons, but members of the public and the police?

                  In that case, initiating a pursuit over a stolen car or traffic infringement should be avoided.

                • KJT

                  In parts of OZ, they have stopped police chases.

                  It has also stopped the deaths.


                  Adrenaline fueled childish police chasing adrenaline fueled children, has killed how many in New Zealand recently?

                  Policies on police chases should, like any policy, follow the evidence of whatever causes the “least harm’.

                  Not the “hang em high” emotive brigade.
                  Many of whom would not still be here, if the police had been as unbending, in our youth.

            • veutoviper

              I don’t recall you commenting here before so welcome but you appear to have jumped to conclusions that Sabine has driven at those speeds here in NZ.

              I suggest that you go down the thread and read Sabine’s comment at where Sabine talks about the fact that “in Germany / France/ Italy etc you are legally allowed to drive without speed limits on various roads.”

              Many of us here can confirm that the above quote is true, and also that Sabine who has been a commenter here on TS for quite some time, has lived in Europe for many years as well as in NZ.

              So perhaps check the rest of the comments next time before reacting to one. It can save angst etc.

        • Kevin

          Young men?


          16 and 13 year olds (from two different families) are not ‘young men’, they are children.

          Children who a) should not be out on the streets at night and b) should not be stealing cars.

          • bwaghorn

            I’d love to agree with you but I raised a very good girl (not my own) in here teens it wasn’t till after she left she fessed up to snacking out the window on occasion.
            Short of bars on the windows kids are going to sneak out.

      • Gabby 1.1.2

        Incurred no risk of accidents? Got away with it. Next time, maybe you sneeze.

        • Sabine

          in Germany / France/ Italy etc you are legally allowed to drive without speed limits on various roads.

          yes, one can drive fast, save and without ever incurring an accident. and one can drive slow, rude and without regards to the traffic around one and run over pedestrians that cross the road. Which is a thing quite common in NZ.

          NZ has way to many speed limits, dumb speed limits _ 100 km/h on the forgotten highway just for one to name – and outright idiotic speed limits on good motorways like the Northern toll road which could easily be driven at a 110 – 130 km/h.

          If we were to have some more sensible road limits – rather then arbitrary numbers that worked when everyone in the country drove a minor or a bedford truck or took the bus, we would not have these dumb chases that not only killed the driver but also the two passenger in the car. Which must have been guilty by association and thus deserving of death by cop.

          • Gabby

            I wonder if those roads, the ones without speed limits, might not be built just a teensy bit better than the ones in downtown Christchurch. Maybe with fewer intersections and the like.

            • Psycho Milt

              No intersections, but nothing fancy about them as roads either, just two lanes each way and a median barrier. The road surface is nothing flash. I drove between Hamburg and Berlin on the A24 a few times, the fastest at 160kph, and even at that speed I still had to pull over occasionally to let faster traffic past. Speed itself isn’t necessarily a problem.

              • McFlock

                ISTR they’re made of metre-thick concrete for durability and were decades ahead of their time in regards to water management and general design (camber, turn radii, etc). Some of our newer barely-cost-effective highways might get to that level, but frankly a high speed train line would be a better option.

          • Kevin

            Germany still has autobahns with unlimited speed limits but not sure where you get the idea that France and Italy do.

          • Draco T Bastard

            NZ has way to many speed limits, dumb speed limits _ 100 km/h on the forgotten highway just for one to name – and outright idiotic speed limits on good motorways like the Northern toll road which could easily be driven at a 110 – 130 km/h.

            Maximum speed should be 80km/h just for the reduction in GHG emissions:

            Dutch researchers say lowering the speed limit to 80 km/h (50 mph) would cut transportation-related CO2 emissions by 30 percent. Less drastic cuts in maximum speed would yield reductions of 8 to 21 percent, according to the study by CE Delft.

    • soddenleaf 1.2

      Yes, and clearly current practice isn’t working. How do police know these cars are stolen, and just happen to be available to chase them? Could a degree of restraint, and alternative police work.Seems to me that misbehavior is going to continue, since new youth is growing up to replace the dead ones. So maybe it would be better to let them get police attention and when police in their time, like when the kid has gotten to bed go knocking, give them 24 hours in a cell… or whatever works, break them from their habit with a timeout, or whatever. Seems to many that getting chased is additional thrill, don’t feed the monster, starve it for 24 hours afterwards when it can’t post it’s monster activities.

  2. Sabine 2

    the cops do because they can. they get a bit of action, and if shit happens and someone dies its not their fault, its the fault of whom they were chasing.
    Why would they not chase? It beast writing tickets.

    The question is not why does the police chase, they do because they can, but why it is legal for them to chase in the first place?

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Question is: if you don’t chase law-breakers endangering public safety, what’s the better alternative way to prevent them doing that?

    “they haven’t worked. The number of people killed during or after police chases rose every year between 2014 and 2017 and the issue was a matter for concern for some time before this. A 2009 Independent Police Conduct Authority review by Justice Lowell Goddard found that even then, about one in four recorded pursuits ended in a crash, about one in 50 ended in serious injury and about one in 500 in death. Fleeing drivers tended to be young men, few of whom had committed serious crimes.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/109921200/analysis-four-police-pursuit-reviews-a-fifth-under-way–and-all-the-while-needless-deaths

    Stealing someone’s car is a serious crime to the victim. Moron journalists, please take note! We have enough institutionalised bias against victims already. Don’t need more.

    • KJT 3.1

      Cars are cookie cutter mass produced.

      Insurance buys you a new one.

      Hardly the worst crime around.

      Not even on par with knowingly making many of these kids grow up with insufficient housing and food. Which we know affects cognitive ability, BTW.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        But what about all those who can’t afford a thousand bucks for insurance? People are so dependent on cars that having them taken traumatises them. That’s why it’s serious crime to victims. I get that it isn’t serious for those of us who haven’t had a car stolen. If you can’t empathise with victims, just try thinking about what you would do tomorrow if your car vanished.

        • KJT

          Well it didn’t vanish. Got burnt to a cinder in a shed fire. I survived.

          • Dennis Frank

            Bugger, eh? But you sound like someone who can cope when shit happens. Lots of folks can’t. They get stressed out, take it out on their families, others get hurt. That collateral damage reinforces why stolen cars are serious crime.

            • KJT

              So is knowing impoverishing 300 000 children because “there was too much equality in New Zealand”.

              Death penalty for that seems appropriate, on balance. Then?

              • Dennis Frank

                I can’t follow your reasoning. I get the impression you have an analogy in mind, but I can’t comment because I can’t see what it is.

  4. …somebody in the Police made the decision to lay road spikes across Blenheim Rd, Christchurch, a busy four lane arterial , knowing that a speeding vehicle was going to drive over them and lose traction.

    What did the Police involved think was going to happen?

    First and foremost, that someone posing a clear and present danger to the lives of his fellow citizens would cease posing a clear and present danger to the lives of his fellow citizens. That’s one of the things we pay them for, and is certainly my top priority in such incidents, as one of those fellow citizens. In this particular incident, dumbass mofo figured that suicidal speeds in the wet on said busy four-lane arterial and the highly likely prospect of road spikes in his immediate future might not result in suicide and the manslaughter of his passengers. Unsurprisingly, he figured wrong. Sucks to be his passengers, but them’s the breaks.

  5. To which I’d add: the cops were not chasing this fuckwit.

  6. mpledger 6

    If police don’t chase drivers then will it encourage more people to try and get away? And does that make it more dangerous for everyone else?

    • KJT 6.1

      That has not been the experience, where they have banned police chases, in all but the worst circumstances.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        [citation needed]

        • KJT

          “The other school of thought is for police to abandon the chase at the first sign of recklessness from a fleeing driver — or not even start the pursuit in the first place. Advocates urge the taking down of car registration numbers and tracking the offender through various methods before actioning an arrest at home or elsewhere.

          It is likely the police know some of the drivers most likely to flee. They will have offended previously. It seems possible the Tasmanian experiment, which identifies the offenders before arresting them with a warrant later, may work here.

          Initially, Tasmanian police were totally opposed to the ban on chases. They were faced with young people driving past giving them a finger salute. But gradually, the police came round to thinking innocent lives might be saved by not engaging in risky high-speed pursuits”.


          • Draco T Bastard

            1. That’s an opinion piece – not research showing that its made any difference
            2. What it suggests is what the police are actually doing

            • KJT

              Have a look below. 100’s of opinion pieces, and statistics.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Opinion pieces that suggest that the change in policy may be having an effect out the waazoo and just as worthwhile as any other anecdata.

                What’s needed is research showing if it was the cause otherwise we’re just continuing to make uninformed decisions. We need to know if something is working or not. Making decisions upon guesses just makes things worse.

    • KJT 6.2

      Chases not only cause extra danger to the public, the occupants of the chased car and innocent bystanders and motorists, but they also cause a danger to the police involved.

      Is all this really justified to catch a bunch of joy riding kids, or someone who has run a red light.


      Google is your Friend.

  7. greywarshark 7

    “We ended the chase and shortly after the offender crashed”.

    I heard that and said oh yeah. It is awful if the police don’t care when they trot out the trite. It is awful if they do care and are under such tight demands that they feel they are ordered to do so. It is awful if they feel that to stop the chase before it gets to be one is demeaning to them, and that they would gamble with the lives of these fairly innocent joyriders, with rigid determination no matter what. (Of course some of them go on to set cars on fire, that adds total destruction to the crime changing its level of severity to high.) There is a culture that is possibly affected by the approach of fierce USA cops that I have read of.

    We want our police to be as safe as possible. We want to like them and respect the job they do and the way they do it. We need to care about them and we need for them to care about us. I don’t think that the police at the front line are getting that message from above.

    We have in the past been in a friendly relationship with one or two of the Australian states and had one of our senior police take on the leadership role there when they needed somebody fresh at the top who didn’t have close connections throughout the Force. Maybe we need to do this in reverse. Presumably not all Australians in leadership roles have been taught to dislike us, and presumably there are fair cops over there who would consider a period of furlough over here to make a change in the present psychology of our Force.

    It is interesting to read Blip’s post from 2015 above, ‘A police investigation Part One’ where he presents a list of police faults in his usual careful way. It is not good reading, and therefore should be studied. There is a time for everything, and a season, and we have just been through our Christmas goodwill season, and now need to sharpen up to see what good we can do to get our various systems working satisfactorily. No-one of integrity can be satisfied with these regular car chases and their too frequent tragic aftermath. It’s almost entrapment or enticement; not regarded well in well functioning law-abiding countries.

  8. Andre 8

    I’ve got a somewhat Darwinian view of this one.

    As a teenager I had a couple of acquaintances that ran from the cops and got away. Both later died in separate crashes they caused, with no police involved, and they both killed innocents in those crashes they caused.

    Neither of them were explained by family problems and both had plenty of good social support structures around them. They were just fuckwits that went out their way to be hazards to themselves and to anyone unfortunate enough to get near them.

  9. McFlock 9

    It saddens me greatly, and drags me in two directions.

    The first is how can we stop these killing themselves? If we can get them to 25 or 30 years of age, the stupid shit will be out of almost all of them. Whatever we’re doing at the moment is failing dismally. Chases kill people. Not chasing kills people. Maybe we need to restrict access to fast cars, have limiters on, or something else that pre-empts the situation rather than being the ambulance and fire engine at the bottom of the cliff.

    The second is the way the cops have a routine PR drill for this. Say any chase that occurred had ended (even though the dead kids might not have known that, and if they did they’d still be full of adrenaline with being chased by cops). Then drip out good news stories of the cop saves kitten variety to dilute any bad PR ofver the next few weeks. I think the cops on the scene are probably traumatised, but I also think the command structure cynically just views it as a PR problem to address.

    • Wensleydale 9.1

      What’s the alternative? I mean, the police seem to get bagged no matter which way they jump on this one. Chase fleeing drivers who quite obviously pose a serious hazard to both people and property, they crash, people die – those horrible, careless policemen, how could they so recklessly cause such a tragic loss of life? Let fleeing drivers carry on their merry way, they crash, people die – those pathetic, uniformed wasters! Why didn’t they stop the offenders before the inevitable happened? What are we paying them for?! I am shocked and appalled, Deirdre!

      It’s lose-lose on the PR front, and it must be exasperating for front-line staff. You can’t expect law enforcement to enforce the law, and then cry rivers of tears when people breaking the law die in an attempt to evade capture. In other news, why are 13 year-olds careening around in stolen cars in the middle of the night? Does anyone know? Mum? Dad? Anyone?

      You couldn’t pay me enough to be a policeman these days.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        I doubt frontline staff care too much about PR, but I agree they’re not paid enough for that shit.

        What percentage of joyriders who aren’t chased end up dying or killing others? It definitely happens, but it is greater or lesser than the number killed “shortly” after being chased by police?

        What about hard limits in cars? Why do they need to go 160kph in the first place? What about performance locks for vehicles that can only be unlocked by authorised drivers? That’ll limit joyriders. Maybe have performance restictions for young drivers – that’ll limit hoons who own their cars. What about a national traffic unit that travels around with aerial surveillance and specialist drivers who can monitor without causing a chase, and can control pursuits that do occur more safely?

        Kids are committing property crime and traffic offences. That’s bad. But it shouldn’t be killing them.

        • KJT

          Chases are also hazardous for the cops.

          I would have thought OHS policies would prevent them, except for very clear and present danger to the public.

  10. Naki man 10

    People who drive through red lights at 130k in the rain are going to die.
    Thank god that no other innocent people in another vehicle were killed.
    Well done to the police for a thankless task, its not nice seeing kids die in car accidents.

  11. RuralGuy 11

    Well done to the police by ensuring that these cockroaches didn’t have a chance to harm any innocent bystanders.

    TRP’s faux outrage at the police performing their role in a professional and diligent manner tells you more about the soft on crime mentality that resides in this blog.

    Anybody who feels that the police have any fault in this incident is a sickening cancerous grub who adds nothing of value to New Zealand society.

  12. I wonder if young people struggle to make rational risk related decisions because they spend too much time on computers out of the real world where they are all powerful and invincible. They don’t have real life three dimensional experience such as climbing trees, playing bullrush or other physical games when young, swimming, playing sport or hiking in the bush so they never get the opportunity to assess risk in the real world. Just a thought anyway.

    • ropata 12.1

      You are wise, Gairy Mudfather

      • OnceWasTim 12.1.1

        She is @ ropata. A very wise specimen.
        I imagine risk is often assessed by adults and kuds alike through the ever-diminishing spatial awareness brought about by the cell-phone and whatever other bubble that’s captured their attention.

    • bwaghorn 12.2

      I found a 1920s paper under the lino in a old house once . One story was about two young fallas stealing a car and crashing into a shop on queen street . Boys are fools.

    • KJT 12.3

      Teenagers don’t have brains.

      It is up to adults to help them survivor.

      Not getting their jollies chasing them to their deaths.

      I watched three cop cars getting their jollies chasing a car load of teenagers around our block for many circuits. At any stage they could have stopped the chase by blocking the road 100m ahead, which my neighbor eventually did.

  13. As of March last year, no people had died in Police chases in Queensland in the previous 9 years.

    That tells us nothing without the corresponding figure for how many people in Queensland died as a result of dangerous driving by someone who would have been off the road under a less restrictive policy. There’s no way to obtain that figure, so for all we know the Queensland policy is far more harmful than NZ’s one.

    Even without the necessary figures, it’s clear the Queensland policy effectively prioritises the lives of dangerous drivers over the lives of potential innocent victims of those dangerous drivers. That’s the wrong way round.

    Policy should also take into account that every time one of these dangerous drivers kills themselves without killing any innocent parties, their unintentional suicide has likely saved the lives of innocent people they would have gone on to kill or maim in the future. Many of these deaths are effectively a net gain for society.

  14. James 14

    And if they killed your kid (or a friends kid) while the police sat back and did nothing – I assume you would be fine with them not putting down spikes or trying to stop them.

    This is the fault of the kids in the car. Nobody else.

    They are dead because of their own actions – not the police.

    If they are stealing cars at 16 and 13 they were hardly going to grow up to be fantastic members of society- so perhaps Darwin did is a favour on this one.

    I’m just glad no innocents were killed.

    • Michelle 14.1

      is a car worth more than 3 kids lives I doubt it people what a bunch of arseholes they never killed anyone but themselves stop being so f.. n nasty.

      • James 14.1.1

        The simple point you seem to have problems understanding is that their actions killed them and could have killed others (as has happened before).

        They are the assholes here.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        is a car worth more than 3 kids lives

        The actions of said kids says it was.

  15. SaveNZ 15

    I think that allowing criminals to speed off after committing their crimes is also not an option… the other day some youths kidnapped two women at the same time as stealing their car.. we don’t want to increase people thinking they can do whatever they like either when committing crimes… middle ground needed on this issue not a police beat up.


  16. cleangreen 16

    I recall my ‘first indocrination to Canadian life’ in th late 1960’s as a young kiwi immigrant was a large public Canadian ‘backlash’ that was all over on the media over there, to a similar rash of young deaths from police car chases, as it was worrying most people then.

    So the Canadian Government then stopped police cases and guess what happend then?

    The deaths went down and stolden vehicle numbers also declined as wel!!!!

    So it showed that police chasing was a studid move, and it was very dangerous to other drivers it showed then in Pierre Trudeau as prime minister’s time.

    So we must stop these mindless police chases now since cars are faster and chases are becomming more dangerous and costly and fatal.

  17. Rapunzel 17

    Just on a practical level the duration of a chase being only one minute and the ability, time-wise, to intervene so immediately with road spikes stretches the realms of possibilty to the point that “actions” don’t look to have been given any consideration by anyone involved in this.

  18. Gabby 18

    The ease with which vehicles can be stolen and destroyed must be giving the manufacturers sleepless nights.

  19. RedLogix 19

    This is the muddle that too much empathy lands you in. Absolutely you have to have a heart of stone not to feel some sense of sorrow over these kids fate.

    But life is not an orderly game of tidily fair outcomes. These kids rolled a loaded dice and lost badly. As a wise philosopher once said “There is the will of God, and the will of Man, and there are accidents which should be guarded against”.

    Maybe police chases are a poor way to deal with this problem. A remote disabling technology is entirely realistic alternative.

  20. Tiger Mountain 20

    what is it with all these compliant New Zealanders that comment here?–it is amazing there are any forelocks left in this country–with such widespread “authority love” happening

    the IPCA is bent, riven with various conflicts of interest, and the Police are substantially bent, if you cannot recognise that you have either lead a very sheltered life or are a reactionary of some description

    stolen cars are generally not worth the chase, catch up with everyone later, and do some paperwork–case closed, rather than shut the coffin lid on mutilated, or in this case incinerated corpses of young people

    as long as Police culture remains macho, violent, racist and ugly, despite the Public Relations spin a few put on their activities, young people will keep dying in this manner

    • solkta 20.1

      catch up with everyone later

      How do they do this when it is a stolen car?

    • Gabby 20.2

      Why the slavish adoration of the Law of Thug tigey? No need to worship unconditionally at the Altar of Stupid Youth.

    • xanthe 20.3

      “the IPCA is bent, riven with various conflicts of interest, and the Police are substantially bent, if you cannot recognise that you have either lead a very sheltered life or are a reactionary of some description”

      This is the truth!

      And one of the main enablers/perpetuators of this culture is now an MP in government

      “the chase had just ended” BULLSHIT!

    • what is it with all these compliant New Zealanders that comment here?

      Meh. If someone wants to entertain themselves by risking their life, I wish them good luck and promise not to whinge about the cost if they need rescuing. However, if they want to entertain themselves by risking other people’s lives, why yes I do want the existence of authorities and I do want those authorities to spoil the fuckwit’s entertainment pronto and without over-much regard for his convenience.

      stolen cars are generally not worth the chase…

      It’s not about the stolen car, it’s about dangerous driving putting people’s lives at risk.

  21. mauī 21

    The police are really the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff for troubled souls. I would be really interested to know how much proper training they get on mental health and mental health issues, as I see it this is what they’re faced with day in day out. If the job description is to chase and apprehend people presenting such issues, what do they think will be the outcome?

    At some stage we’ll get to a more localised whanau based model with much better results. No doubt the rednecks will still be up in arms at something that actually works and doesn’t involve punishment.

    • solkta 21.1

      What makes you think the driver of the car had a mental health issue?

      • mauī 21.1.1

        Jacking cars and driving at crazy speeds isn’t your typical 16 year old behaviour.

        • solkta

          You could say that about any age group engaging in any dangerous criminal activity. You could say that it is not typical behaviour for adult men to commit armed robbery, but that does not mean that every armed robber should be considered as mentally ill.

          Also, it is actually quite typical for teenage males to drive at dangerous speeds.

          • mauī

            Mental health issues is a broad term, that’s why I used it. Criminal behaviour probably does stem from one’s “issues” in one way or another.

    • Tiger Mountain 21.2

      (to Mauī at 21):
      the cops have always had to deal with people having various types of meltdowns, and have picked up dealing with a wider group needing mental health care in the neo liberal era of “in the community” practice

      while obviously not suitably trained to do so, they still have to deal with varied situations that arise due to inadequate mental health funding and service provision

      the “hang ’em high” brigade do not like any non punitive measures, but it is interesting that Kelvin Davis has helped reduce prison population by around 10% already, with the simple measure of assisting illiterate prisoners to get their multiplicity of forms filled out promptly–thereby clearing out some remand prisoners and others just awaiting the system to grind on in their case…

    • KJT 21.3

      There is a valid position, supported by evidence that “treatment” preferably before the crime, works infinitely better than punishment afterwards, even for the worst crimes.

      Note that most of the prison population are illiterate, drug addicted or mentally sub par.

      Except for white collar criminals of course. They are just “entitled”.

  22. One Two 22

    Viewing the up/down votes against comments, raises questions about legitimacy of the accounts being used on stuff….

  23. Cinny 23

    There was a piece on either Sunday, 60mins or Q+A last year about police chases.

    Their current method is flawed, but they don’t want to change.

    Will try and find the link, it was super interesting.

    Found it, was on The Nation.


    • Andre 23.1

      Automated vehicle tracking makes sense. Cars should be loaded up with cameras as well, 360 degree external coverage plus internal. These days the cost would be bugger-all extra when done as part of dressing-up a cop car.

      • Cinny 23.1.1

        Absolutely Andre, it’s so hard to fathom why they don’t.

        Like you said, the cost would be bugger all these days, and with technology improving so quickly it’s only going to get cheaper.

      • Crashcart 23.1.2

        While we are at it why don’t we just tag everyone with a GPS chip so that we can know who was where and when. Great way to stop crime. Oh and we could install cameras in everyone’s house so that we could monitor for domestic violence. We are real bad in that area.

        I wonder how many other areas we could impinge on regular peoples privacy and other rights. Far better than addressing the issue directly or dealing with the unfortunate results of people being bloody stupid.

        • Andre

          Most people are already voluntarily GPS tracking themselves and giving that data away with their phones.

          But I don’t see how fitting GPS locators and cameras to cop cars impinges on the general public’s privacy.

          • Crashcart

            You said to install 360 cameras the monitor external and internal. If I want to go and get a blow job in my car its my business and not the police.

            • Andre

              If you want to go get a blow job in a cop car, then I suggest the police may have a legitimate interest in that.

              But yeah, ok, I should have added “cop” in front the “cars” to add clarity for those that wouldn’t see that it was implied from the context given by the rest of my comment. Sorry.

              • Crashcart

                How do cameras on the cop cars (which pretty much already exist) help to prevent what happened?

                I read the camera and automated vehicle tracking as meaning GPS and cameras on all cars. I can see now how that could be read as all cop cars so I apologise for misinterpreting that.

                Why would the police have a legitimate interest in what sexual activity happens in my car? As long as it is consensual I could get someone to cover me in peanut butter and it wouldn’t matter.

                • Andre

                  Whoa, whoa, whoa. Too much information. Please, just make sure the car is stopped and the handbrake is on, ok?

                  GPS tracking and cameras won’t do much to directly stop what just happened, except maybe help the police direct additional resources during a live pursuit and give better info to cooler heads that aren’t directly involved. They would help a lot more in figuring out what happened and what better decisions could be made in the future.

                • Ad

                  Smoorh peanut butter, and honey.

                  Dip every teenager in that and there’s no time for reckless driving.

            • left_forward

              You may have gotten over-excited prematurely here – Crashcart before the horse, so to speak.
              The suggestion is for cameras in police cars, not the state monitoring of your pleasure dome.

  24. Muttonbird 24

    Perhaps I’ve been watching too many movies but wouldn’t it be great if Police had access to a location device which could be attached to a fleeing vehicle. I’m thinking magnets and a gun with which to deliver the device.

    This would take the heat out of the chase and provide a means for following Police to track and safely apprehend the perpetrators.

    • Cinny 24.1

      Holy tracking magnets Batman !!! That would work a treat.

    • veutoviper 24.2

      Love the idea in theory! A lightweight magnetic GPS of some sort … Probably already exist …

      Pragmatically, unfortunately it could still mean that the driver of the fleeing vehicle might still continue to drive in a dangerous way, putting other vehicles and people at risk.

      • xanthe 24.2.1

        The IR camera on a police chopper is very effective in finding and tracking vehicles that are being/have been driven at excessive speed. the heat signature is dramatically different to other cars being driven appropriately.
        (engine bay, exhaust, and tyres all light up like xmas trees)

        A very good strategy for dealing with dangerous speeding drivers would be to monitor from the air and follow out of sight until it is safe to approach.

    • bwaghorn 24.3

      Something that nules the computer chip in it would be more effective

    • Andre 24.4

      I suspect a lot of the chases that get abandoned are because the fuckwit is driving so dangerously the cop can’t close up to them. Which kinda hints that firing some sort of device that attaches itself to a fleeing car is a lot easier said than done.

      As part of teaching my kid to drive, we’ve watched a few car-crash video compilations so he can see what kinds of situations and behaviours lead to high crash risk. They often include some chases, and I gotta say that seeing those videos pushes my views more towards continuing chases and police taking even more measures to stop the runners.

    • jimmy 24.5

      I’ve got an idea, why don’t they stop stealing cars, and if they are asked to stop by the police, actually stop…that solves everything, no complaints against the police and the boys are home for dinner.

      • greywarshark 24.5.1

        Good try at thinking. First baby steps, state the obvious. And you are up to toddling now. You will take a while to be self-supporting in a new direction.

        • jimmy

          Well it is pretty basic stuff and easily fixed. I never stole cars when I was thirteen …….where did I go wrong?

  25. jcuknz 25

    Another dose of bollocks and crap from TRP and his followers.
    Good riddance of bad rubbish.
    Sympathy to the police etc having to clear up the mess.
    Parents should know where their children are and both they and their children should learn to be responsible people and only break the law when there are no cops around.
    I am glad I do not have many more years to live as this tolerant rubbish takes hold of NZ.
    No doubt TRP will ban me for stating my view on this matter but that seems to the lefts way of handling things

    • Muttonbird 25.1

      You’re glad you are going to die soon? Ok then. 😟

    • Cinny 25.2

      Because kids do what their parents say…. yeah right…..

      As a parent you can give all the advice/education on the planet to your offspring and hope they make good choices. But in the end they will make up their own minds.

      A mother has just lost her sons, are you saying it’s the mum’s fault???!!!!

    • veutoviper 25.3

      ” … and their children should learn to be responsible people and only break the law when there are no cops around.


      So its OK – and being ‘responsible’ – to break the law when there are no cops around?

    • Oh, do harden up snowflake. Somebody else has already called me a cancerous grub and all that did was make me laugh. We don’t moderate for opinion, unless it’s obvious trolling or bigotry. We do actively moderate behaviour, which is a different thing altogether. However, having a crack at an author is fraught with danger, so I’d stick to commenting on the subject of the post in future, were I you.

      For what it’s worth, I know a few cops, and socialise with a couple. I’m in awe of the two who did their best to get the kids out of that burning car. However, the person who decided laying road spikes was a good option needs firing. That cop, and the driver, were mutually responsible for the crash that killed three young people. No amount of sucking up to authority on your behalf will change that fact.

      • bwaghorn 25.4.1

        I m picking young cops are prone to adrenaline rushes clouding their judgment so chucking spikes probably seemed a good idea.

        How many car chases are stopped safely buy spikes as opposed them ending badly. ???

      • Ad 25.4.2

        its good you mentioned the police who were burned trying to rescue them.

        But to me the road/injury toll isnt about Police tactics.

        We need a government who can get their whole arms around transport safety regulation, including Police.

        It will need a social marketing campaign bigger than smoking, and legislative change, and penalty step change.

      • Crashcart 25.4.3

        You understand that the spikes don’t work the way they do in movies? The spikes are hollow and detach from the strip as soon as the car runs over them. The tires then deflate as opposed to exploding. The car would have had traction and control for a period after they hit the strip. They could have bought it to a stop but chose not to.

      • Psycho Milt 25.4.4

        That cop, and the driver, were mutually responsible for the crash that killed three young people. No amount of sucking up to authority on your behalf will change that fact.

        There’s a difference between personal opinion and fact. Your opinion that someone other than the person in charge of the vehicle was responsible for crashing it is just that, an opinion.

        It’s also a highly contestable fact. Road spikes are highly unlikely to cause a car to leave the driver’s control, whereas driving upwards of 130kph on city streets in the wet is highly likely to cause a car to leave the driver’s control. That doesn’t make for “mutual” responsibity.

        • te reo putake

          Nope. It’s a fact. The road spikes were a contributory factor, therefore the person laying them is part of the picture. That’s the fact bit.

          Now, I accept that laying road spikes is a lawful Police response in a chase. However, to use them against a car you know is being driven at high speed is irresponsible. That’s the opinion bit.

          Last night, as part of my research for this post, I looked up the IPCA inquiry into a fatal chase in Whanganui in 2001. I was interested in that one, because I was a witness to part of it (though not the crash itself). It was a sobering read.

          The upshot was that it was accepted that the chase had been called off. The actual words used to end it were pretty vague:

          “she’s just about pull the pin material …”

          One of the Police said they often end chases because that has an effect on the fleeing driver. Once they realise they aren’t being chased, they tend to slow down. In this case, that was corroborated by the driver, who acknowledged that he knew the cops slowed down to try and make him slow down.

          What I took from that is that the Police know that chasing fleeing drivers increases the risk of a crash, and that, as some point, the danger level is too high and therefore the chase must end.

          From the report:

          “A further responsibility of the Police driver is to abandon the pursuit if its continuation poses an immediate and serious risk to the safety of any person and if that risk “(a) exceeds the risk for which the pursuit was initiated or (b) is not outweighed by the need to apprehend the suspect”.”

          “any person” obviously includes the driver, even if he is committing a crime.

          • Psycho Milt

            Road spikes are only ever used against cars travelling at high speed. That’s because their only use case is against a vehicle that’s endangering the public, which this one was. They’re also designed not to cause the vehicle to lose traction, just to gradually deflate the tyres.

            This incident was exactly the use case road spikes are built for. If you’d like the Police not to use road spikes against vehicles that are endangering the public, it’s up to you to come up with an alternative that doesn’t involve just allowing fuckwits like this to continue endangering the public.

            • McFlock

              What’s the relative danger of doing nothing other than finding ways to ID them and pick them up in the morning or after they ditch the car, first.

            • te reo putake

              They’re used against cars fleeing the Police. High speed may, or may not, be a factor at the time.

              Blenheim Road is an ideal street for a fleeing driver to use in trying to make their escape. 4 lanes, links to the Southern motorway, the Wigram industrial area, the highway west. It should have been obvious to the cops that if the car hit the road spikes, it would do so at speed and a crash would be a likely outcome.

              I have already quoted the Police manual instruction on chases that indicates that if there is risk to anyone, they should cease. I’m pretty sure the same logic would, or should, apply to the use of road spikes, whose only purpose is to make the vehicle unstable. A serious crash is the most likely outcome in this situation and therefore, questions will be asked about the choices of the Police in this incident. At the very least it’s reckless behaviour, in my opinion.

              • As McFlock said, what’s the relative danger of using road spikes vs doing nothing?

                Relative danger to the fuckwits of using road spikes is higher than doing nothing, sure.

                However, the relative danger to the non-fuckwit population of doing nothing is much higher than using road spikes.

                Sometimes you have to prioritise, and in these cases the priority should always be with the non-fuckwit population.

                • Except, that’s not what the Police manual says. If they’d got away, that’d be a shame. But eventually they’d get caught, right? Instead, they’re dead.

                  • It’s not about whether they get caught or not, it’s about the threat they pose to other road users (or even people not on the road, if they’re going fast enough). Fuckwits like this kill people all the time, and that’s a threat most of us want the cops to take seriously. Pretending it’s just a matter of catching some kids engaged in a property crime doesn’t fool anybody.

                  • Pat

                    except that theres every chance the result would have been the same or worse….the fact they were briefly pursued may or may not have resulted in the outcome…the fact is most of these fatals dont involve pursuit…and often involve innocent parties

                    • McFlock

                      “every chance”.
                      Hmm. I’m not familiar with that term as a risk assessment.

                      Is that, like, a 0.002 probability of fatality from every uninterrupted joyride? 0.5?

                • McFlock

                  However, the relative danger to the non-fuckwit population of doing nothing is much higher than using road spikes.

                  How do you figure that?

                  There’s also a false dichotomy of “flashing lights and high-speed pursuit that gets called off just before a crash” and “doing nothing”.

                  Look, these kids aren’t geniuses. There’s more than one way to catch them. Is it foolish to think that maybe another way won’t result in 35 dead in half a dozen years?

                  • How do you figure that?

                    Dangerous driving risks other road users’ lives. If you leave dangerous drivers to it, they’re likely to kill people.

                    There’s also a false dichotomy of “flashing lights and high-speed pursuit that gets called off just before a crash” and “doing nothing”.

                    The only logical fallacy being peddled here is “post hoc, ergo propter hoc.”

                    Is it foolish to think that maybe another way won’t result in 35 dead in half a dozen years?

                    Nope, but so far suggestions that don’t involve prioritising crim safety above public safety have been lacking.

                    • McFlock

                      First of all, in this case it’s child safety.

                      Secondly, you’re working on the assumption that the act of pursuit does not change driving behaviour. And don’t parrot that “they weren’t being chased” crap – the police were trying to catch them. Spike strips don’t appear out of thin air.

                      Lastly, it prioritises everyone’s safety. Hoon crashes in (sorry, “shortly” after) a pursuit have just as much chance of killing someone other than the vehicle occupant as much as hoons cruising around undisturbed.

                    • Age of the dangerous driver is irrelevant.

                      And good luck convincing anyone that leaving dangerous drivers to it prioritises everyone’s safety.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, the thought occurs that a less obvious pursuit mode would better enable a moving road block to be set up ahead of the offenders. I’ve foot-chased a few little shits in another role – when they’re fleeing, they’ll take random choices and big risks. When they think they’re safe, they go into a pretty predictable routine.

                      Hang back, observe, ping ’em when they go through the maccas drive through. Or when they get bogged down doing donuts on a rugby field. Or if they pull into a cul de sac for the same. Or when they swing by a girl’s house to show off to her. Or if they’re older, when they park up to hotbox.

                      We’re losing too many kids the way things are done now.

    • greywarshark 25.5

      Oh poor old jcuknz. Your comments are 90% predictable. I probably will continue to read them just to see if this time you can break out of the protective shell you wear when you comment to prevent awkward thoughts getting to your brain.

    • Michelle 25.6

      The only bad rubbish is you jcuknz it is not about the left or the right you sound like one sick nasty vile person. Three young teenagers have died unnecessary have some fucken sympathy.

      • Chch pete 25.6.1

        Yep, it was unnecessary, but that was their choice and theirs alone.

        I was driving down that very road about 20 minutes earlier. If later, these ‘people’ would have put the safety of my family at risk. I have great sympathy for the parents, but really, an appropriate result that has no doubt saved the lives of innocents.

        • KJT

          The more cops chase, the more “innocents”, and stupid kids, get killed.

          The less they chase the less people get killed, including “innocents”.

          From comparison of death rates between NZ, and Ozzie States which strictly limit police chases.

          Clear enough for you.

          Or do you actually think “ferals” deserve “execution by cop”? Even if the police chase makes a potentially dangerous situation, much worse?

  26. bwaghorn 26

    One would think in this day and age cars could be fitted with a remote kill button .
    We just need to work out who would have access to ot.

    • Andre 26.1

      There’s the hacking concern – if cops have it, crims will get access to it PDQ as well.

    • Dennis Frank 26.2

      Better to make it illegal to sell a car that doesn’t have an automatic cut-out built in (which triggers @ 120kph). Teenage males would get fed up with their car motors dying real fast. Speeding would be much less of a problem.

      And why don’t cops use tracker drones to locate escaping vehicles anway? Just fire it out the window when you have to pull out of the chase, the drone locks onto the target and hovers high above it so the control centre can watch where it goes, scramble the chopper & nail the buggers pronto as soon as they stop.

    • I recall this was mentioned on the reality show Monster Garage once, and the host Jesse James replied that this was the reason why you should always drive something that has a carburettor. Not as dumb as he looks, is Jesse.

      • Andre 26.3.1

        Big old diesel. No electrickery whatsoever. Not even a distributor, have to pull on a cable to close a valve in the fuel line to shut it off.

  27. Siobhan 27

    Fascinating that we can have this whole conversation without anyone mentioning the physical brain development of 13-16 year olds…I’m not in the habit of referencing Time magazine, but, I guess, they do well in easily readable/comprehensible pieces..


    • One Two 27.1

      Goes without saying I would have thought, when seeking to understand the actions of adolescents….which is precisely what this article leads to…

      Good to raise it…

    • indiana 27.2

      What about the physical brain development of the parents of the 13-16 year olds? Does anyone dare mention negligent parents?

      • Enough 27.2.1

        What happened to Labour’s (sensible) election promise to provide students with free driver training at school? Would have been an opportunity to promote driving skillfully and safely as seriously cool – but that driving like a fuckwit is for losers.
        Peer-approval is everything when you’re young..

      • Siobhan 27.2.2

        Negligent Parents can be a factor. But there is not a lot you can do to actually effectively retrain parents, so you need to look at the lives of the children.

        Can I recommend you watch the two young ‘idiots’ featured in…

        ‘Highway Cops’ (NZ)
        Season 4, Episode 1
        Monday 11 Jun 2018

        It may help you understand that young boys do unbelievably stupid things for stupid reasons (ie no reason) no matter their background.

        And some families are just born risk takers, its in their blood.
        Once upon a time they were the youths that killed the rogue Lion/Boar, led the charge on the battlefield, were first down the mine to rescue the trapped miners, starting bands, or just plain old fashioned physical work…now they sit in their rooms playing ‘Fortnite’ and drinking energy drinks..and then the proverbial hits the fan

      • jcuknz 27.2.3

        It seems to me to be not just the parents who trained the kids but also the Grandparents who failed their children. Then there are the true ‘snowflakes’ who stop proper discipline of kids because some go overboard and put them in washing machines et al.
        If the parents of those involved had done their job properly it would never have happened. It really is not the kids fault since they were not guided but let to run wild.
        Society’s problem not the kids/ police.

        • Andre

          Dunno about that. The two fuckwits I talked about earlier that had histories of running from cops and then killed themselves and innocents in crashes both had really solid stable supportive families and good social networks of sports clubs around them. They both had siblings that are really great people.

          It wasn’t a family background failure or social network failure that turned them into fuckwits and hazards to themselves and anyone near them. No idea what was the cause, maybe even just a really unfortunate throw of the genetic dice.

      • Draco T Bastard 27.2.4

        The 50-0-50 rule: Why parenting has virtually no effect on children

        In her 1995 article, and then in her 1998 book The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, Harris methodically demolishes the universally held assumption that how parents raise their children is a major determining factor in how they turn out. Harris instead argues that parental socialization has very little effect on children because they are mostly socialized and influenced by their peers. While Harris’s conclusion was enormously controversial and widely condemned by politicians and the media alike, it is in fact corroborated by behavior genetic research.

        One of the complaints I have about modern society is that our children aren’t properly socialised by parents. This is because many simply send them to school and expect that to socialise them because this is what society expects.

        Negligent parents? Yep.
        Why? Because that’s the way parents have been taught and many simply don’t have enough time to socialise their kids properly.

        Children need to socialise with both children and adults but we don’t do that any more. The major problem, IMO, being that all adults are too busy working to get by.

        Bring back Penal Rates and bring in a 32 hour week and we may be able to turn this around.

    • jimmy 27.3

      I was a thirteen year old boy once and i never once thought of stealing a car. These guys had done it a few times. I wonder if my brain was fully developed?

  28. Morrissey 28

    Two words: Ponch and John.

    • alwyn 28.1

      My God, you must be as old as I am.
      I had to think hard before getting this reference.
      How long ago was this on TV? Must be 40 years or so.

      • Morrissey 28.1.1

        They’ve been repeating it on Sky recently. It’s one of those programs that’s so artfully put together that it hooks you into watching it, even though you realize it’s trash. Enjoyable trash, though–especially John’s attempt at chatting up a couple of women at some police do he and Ponch were attending: “You’re a couple of foxy ladies.”

  29. McFlock 29

    I can process how people might write off this incident if the occupants were adults. But they were young kids, not old enough to shave.

    At the moment 2-3% of road deaths seem to be related to police pursuits. 0% in Queensland. So what’s the reason, and how do we fix it?

    • Andre 29.1

      I haven’t yet seen anything that indicates whether the cops had any idea of the identity of the occupants of the car when the decisions around the chase and spiking were made.

      In one of the stuff pieces I’ve seen there was a statement that the three kids were involved in previous car thefts – no indication if that was allegation or established fact.

      But it seems to me it makes quite a difference if the cops saw it as an opportunity to finally nab some real headaches they’ve been trying to grab for a while or if that was how they respond to all unknown random offenders of that type.

      • McFlock 29.1.1

        Joyriding is a kid’s game.

        Car theft is property crime.

        I’m not saying that pursuit is never justified – just that the threshold seems to be a bit low for the harm that results.

    • bwaghorn 29.2

      What use actual real world evidence!!! Don’t be so silly reckons are far better.

    • Pat 29.3

      who you gonna call?

      • McFlock 29.3.1

        Personally, I suspect a handy call to make would be to someone who makes a flir-equipped drone with a 12hour loiter time @ <70kph and a 150kph max speed, that doesn't cost $1000/hr to run with two operators and can be CAA authorised.

        • Pat

          and what the fuck is your drone gunna do?,,,sweet fa

          • McFlock

            not make a teenager shit a brick while driving, while still monitoring them so that, for example, a moving roadblock can be set up well in front of them. Or they can be blocked in wherever they start doing donuts. Or so that they finish their little run, walk away because they think they’re sweet. And the police pick them up when they’re on foot.

            Because all flashing lights behind them do is supply a jolt of adrenaline and kill their fine motor skills.

            • Pat

              get areal job

              • McFlock

                Lol this is actually related to my real job.

                • Pat

                  if your perspective is driving the response then maybe the outcomes are not so surprising after all

                  • McFlock

                    Well obviously it’s not. If my perspective were applied and bad, we’d be reading about emergency services cleaning up lots of kids who hadn’t been pursued and roadspiked. If it differed from current practise and was not applied, we’d be reading about kids being killed after chases and without even being chased – i.e. now. If it were applied and worked, we would be reading fewer stories about kids being killed either way.

                    So logically one can see that whatever my perspective on police pursuits might be, I have not been in a position to see it implemented. Logic seems to be a bit beyond you at the moment.

                    • marty mars

                      I’m appreciating your position on this – too many forget these kids were JUST kids and have paid the ultimate price for fucking it up.

                    • Pat

                      ‘Personally, I suspect a handy call to make would be to someone who makes a flir-equipped drone with a 12hour loiter time @ <70kph and a 150kph max speed, that doesn't cost $1000/hr to run with two operators and can be CAA authorised.'

                      and your drones would acheive what exactly?…if dickheads want to drive dangerously and are not restricted the outcome is negative….if fortuitous a single vehicle tragedy but often not,,,,do you want to tell the innocents family?

                    • Pat

                      @MM yes often they are kids….does that make the decisions any easier, or the result any easier to accept?

                    • McFlock

                      Cheers marty. If we ever meet face to face, I’ll tell you where my perspective comes from. Mods have my email.


                      and your drones would acheive what exactly?…if dickheads want to drive dangerously and are not restricted the outcome is negative….if fortuitous a single vehicle tragedy but often not,,,,do you want to tell the innocents family?

                      A single vehicle tragedy is fortuitous? How fucked up are you?
                      Firstly, if every time someone went hooning they died, it wouldn’t be an issue. This is, in the parlance, a low incidence/high consequence outcome.

                      Secondly, I want it so that nobody gets told their loved ones were killed. That’s probably never going to happen, so we need to make it as few as possible.

                      Thirdly, have you ever chased someone young who thought they were going to jail if you caught them? I have. They break legs jumping off walls, run into deep waterways in the middle of the night, and all sorts of other stupid things. Because they panic. Older career crims often make a rational decision – if they can escape via evasion or thumping you, they will, but if you outnumber them they’ll often swallow the more minor charge and avoid escalating it (I’m talking careerists, not addicts or dropkicks). Young people, especially men, panic and do stupid shit.

                      So what exactly does a drone do? Everything that a car with flashing lights does – except cause panic-related stupidity. It tells commanders exactly what’s going on, documents illegal activity, and enables the coordination of interception measures if the risky behaviour warrants it or the time and place are right.

                    • Pat

                      a single vehicle tragedy is fortuitous….and you can stick your superior attitude right up your arse.

                      Ive had two fatals outside my place and the only saving grace is the fuckwits didnt take anyone else with them…fuck you

                    • McFlock

                      OK, so a fair reason for being fucked up. But it’s still fucked up.

                    • Pat

                      fucked up my arse…what the fuck is a 16 year doing out converting cars with his 13 year old brother and his 13 year old mate and running away from the cops at high speed…thats fucked up. And before you blame the cops he was a an accident waiting to happen cops or no cops…FFs get real.

                      At least they didnt take anyone else out

                    • McFlock

                      While I wouldn’t put it that way, I do agree with some of those sentiments.

                      Basically, everyone starts out as a squishy sprog with amazing potential. Some of us die old after having done amazing and good things. Some of us die young, far too young. Some of us die earlyish, in prison, where we spent much of our lives.

                      There are lots of intervention points where people can try to tweak our bearings as we progress to the universal destination.

                      So yeah, maybe these kids were failed by their parents, or their parents were failed by social workers, or there was an undiagnosed or poorly managed behavioural disorder. Those will be reviewed as thoroughly as possible by a variety of organisations.

                      The last two interventions in these kids lives were a police pursuit and road spikes. Either of those have been the final interventions in quite a few lives over recent years. It’s worth asking whether that’s just because they’re the final fence at the top of the cliff, or maybe theyre the thing that inadvertently pushes some people over the edge.

                    • Pat

                      “The last two interventions in these kids lives were a police pursuit and road spikes”

                      One of many interventions…accident waiting to happen…it happened

                    • McFlock

                      despite the final interventions, or because of them?

                      Saying it was “waiting to happen” is an act of abandonment of the next kids. We learn from this now, or we do it again.

                    • Pat

                      We have learned plenty…

                      we have learned that irrespective of police response they will be pilloried

                      we have learned that when you make stupid decisions somebody will always hand you an excuse

                      we have learned that you can place your fellow citizens at risk of injury or death without censure

                      and we have learned that drones will solve all of societies failings

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I don’t know what else you’ve been reading but you “learned” none of that from me.

                    • ropata

                      Good thinking McFlock it seems other jurisdictions are already using this technology to good effect. Seems likely to come to NZ in the near future.

                      Drones are another tool to assist police work, not replace it. Like dogs, cameras, radios.


        • greywarshark

          What about downgrading the criminalising and giving the perps a chance to make it a diversion offence. You send the drone overhead and it announces Diversion Offence, follow me, turn left and proceed to McDonaldson the left and talk this out with traffic officers. It would take a while to get used to for the kids and the cops too no doubt. The drone would keep a little ahead in their sight and show where to turn left and there would be a carpark to drive into.

          And they would have their names taken and decide what form of correction they would choose, going for three months to a day class for school dropouts. Spending two nights in a jail or special remand place, and then for a week going out picking up rubbish, studying and practising to get a license, with the possibility of getting a light van driver’s job, and then if clean for a year, study to get a heavy traffic licence.

          Some would choose to go to jail because they have lost all hope of aiming for anything, but anyone who carried through his mission would get credits that would be useful in some way. Surprise the perps out of their rut that leads to crims and gangs.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Be cheaper and more effective to put enough cameras on all roads.

          • McFlock

            The more cameras someone has, the less chance someone is watching in the right place when they need to be.
            And then there’s the bandwidth and hardware maintenance issues.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The more cameras someone has, the less chance someone is watching in the right place when they need to be.

              A simple AI would be able to pick up and track the speeding vehicle while sending alerts to the proper authorities. Which means, of course, that we don’t actually need anyone watching it.

              And then there’s the bandwidth and hardware maintenance issues.

              That’s really not an issue. Modern electronics can run for years without maintenance and the bandwidth is mostly already available and we’re running out more fibre every day.

              • McFlock

                In theory.

                In practise, I’ve worked on sites where a solid third of the cameras were faulty at any single time simply because they were viewed as a one-off expense rather than an ongoing maintenance concern. You’re also talking about cameras for at least every linear 500m of road. That’s a lot of fibre. The AI could conceivably do a speeder with current technology – processing every camera in realtime would be a big expense.

                So at the very least you’re laying down a dedicated fibre network for security systems, installing hundreds or thousands of cameras, and having at least one high performance computing centre to run the AI analyses.

                It might be more effective than a drone, it might not. But it sure would be more expensive.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  In practise, I’ve worked on sites where a solid third of the cameras were faulty at any single time simply because they were viewed as a one-off expense rather than an ongoing maintenance concern.

                  Which is bad planning by management. I’m not saying that there’s no maintenance but that it isn’t too high.

                  The AI could conceivably do a speeder with current technology – processing every camera in realtime would be a big expense.


                  installing hundreds or thousands of cameras

                  ~200,000 at 500m intervals.

                  So at the very least you’re laying down a dedicated fibre network for security systems

                  Nope. Just using the public one available now. It’d just require some updated tech that’s presently slowly being installed.

                  It might be more effective than a drone, it might not. But it sure would be more expensive.

                  It will definitely be more effective and probably cheaper as well as won’t need to hire thousands of people to fly the drones and watch the video footage in real time (two people for every drone).

                  Why do people always seem to forget about the necessity of hiring people to do the simple job that they describe while trying to explain why automated systems would cost more?

                  • McFlock

                    Why do people always seem to forget about the necessity of hiring people to do the simple job that they describe while trying to explain why automated systems would cost more?

                    Like forgetting how many people it takes to maintain a network and HPC centre 24/7?

                    And yeah, with the internet of things and streaming services, you need a guaranteed network that won’t be overloaded and obstruct the high priority traffic of at least 200,000 cameras (and will 640×480 be enough, or would they go to high definition?), most of which are observing nothing interesting most of the time. Clean the weather shields of spots and spiders (that’s an image that wakes you up on a shift in ops, I can tell you lol – fucking high-def spider close-up on a big screen) twice a year, replace the cameras themselves on a five year cycle, general fault-finding/vandal-repairing, etc.

                    Vs maybe a couple of hundred drones assigned as and when needed to cover the entire country, and supplement SAR if a tourist goes off-track.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Like forgetting how many people it takes to maintain a network and HPC centre 24/7?

                      I’m not forgetting it – I’m pointing out that it’s already there. It’ll need expanding but not by much.

                      And we won’t need a centre. After all, the system would report to the police who are also already there.

                      And yeah, with the internet of things and streaming services, you need a guaranteed network that won’t be overloaded and obstruct the high priority traffic of at least 200,000 cameras (and will 640×480 be enough, or would they go to high definition?), most of which are observing nothing interesting most of the time.

                      The reason why I put in that link was to show that it doesn’t need to be transmitting all the time. Only when a speeding car is in view. And that will be picked up by the camera itself which sends an alert and starts streaming/recording.

                      And, no, it wasn’t at least 200,000 as there was less than 100,000km of road.

                      Clean the weather shields of spots and spiders

                      Or have an automated system as part of the camera with enough built in supplies that will last two years or more.

                      Vs maybe a couple of hundred drones assigned as and when needed to cover the entire country, and supplement SAR if a tourist goes off-track.

                      I suspect it will be more like two or three thousand drones just in Auckland on a 24/7 basis to get the coverage needed. People committing crimes don’t happen at pre-set times and places after all. That’s 12000 to 18000 thousand people employed full time just in Auckland.

                      200,000 cameras maintained once per two years is 6250 people nationwide.

                      Automated systems really are cheaper than manual.

                    • McFlock

                      lol that many drones for Auckland would be a surveillance fail.

                      Why that many? You don’t need ubiquitous coverage all the time, you just need to be able to observe enough areas often enough to get a feel for the local activity – after that, ne’er do wells stand out like a sore thumb. It’s sort of a zen activity – not obvious transgressions, just the vibe of activity.

                      The reason you need so many cameras is because they’re fixed – drones can self-pilot an irregular patrol while two observers are operating from its sensor suite (either narrow on two separate areas, or one wide and one narrow, realtime). If you oversaturate the area, it’s just a waste. Might as well just increase the coverage area.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You don’t need ubiquitous coverage all the time

                      To achieve what you want to achieve you actually do because crime can happen at any time and any place and because Auckland is bloody large (1086km²).

                      Two to three thousand drones would probably be excessive. It’s dependent upon how many km² that a drone can effectively cover in a max of 10 minutes (every spot covered every ten minutes and which I think is probably excessive – I doubt that the high-speed stunt that killed these three lasted that long) and the grid search used.

                      It’s sort of a zen activity – not obvious transgressions, just the vibe of activity.

                      Yeah, something tells me that someone nodding off while looking at screens of nothing happening is not going to be picking up that ‘vibe’.

                      Basically, you seem to be engaging in magical thinking.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah, I just used to do things like monitor cameras in another life.

                      The dropkicks who’d nod off looking at monitors would nod off in cars, find wee cubbyholes in which to nod off while patrolling, etc.

                      It’s basically pattern recognition. Not conscious, like where’s wally, but you just cruise along until something doesn’t look right, even if you don’t immediately know why. This applies to cameras as much as street patrolling. You’ve maybe got a partner, you’re just jawing away, eyes not really looking at each thing individually, but suddenly something looks off. And then you have to think why, and communicate it to your partner without changing the tone or aspect of your conversation. Then it either turns out to be nothing (sweeet), or shit goes down, you deal with the incident, and then you continue the conversation exactly where you left off five or ten minutes before.

                      And no, you don’t need constant coverage. The objective isn’t perfect street control, putting a lid on everyone’s fun for the most minor transgression. The objective is order: stop riots, observe the people planning crimes and preventing those crimes by the act of observation, and if someone does drive stupid fast, observe them in a timely manner and deploy staff as necessary without panicking the offender.

                      And if they’re driving fast because they’ve just committed a crime, they’re looking to find a safehouse or a clean vehicle to transfer to and become citizens again – a little roving camera will confirm the switch/location, and the police can stop them when they’re acting all innocent (not when they’re liable to stick a shotgun out the window).

  30. jimmy 30

    Police were in a no win situation

    • McFlock 30.1

      So how can we produce a win option next time? Or are teenage hoons destined to be a nightshift officer’s own Kobayashi Maru?

    • Pat 30.2

      aint they…we demand perfection when we are incapable of it ourselves

  31. Ross 31

    No police chases in Queensland? Three teens were injured last week after stealing a truck. They were pursued by police. Luckily, none died.

    And there are plenty of examples of police chasing drivers, and laying spikes.



    And no deaths from police pursuits? A motor cycylist died in April 2018 after being pursued by Queensland police.


    Between 2008-2011, there were 7 pursuit deaths in Queensland.


  32. Ross 32

    In Queensland in 2016 there were 5,018 incidents of evading police. But just 43 per cent, or 2,180 cases, resulted in someone being charged. Of more concern was that the number of incidents of evading police increased by 36 per cent, up from 3,695 in 2015. It could be argued that offenders are learning that, by not stopping for police, they will never be brought to account.


    So much for not pursuing the fleeing driver and charging them later!

  33. Ross 33

    Then there’s the common misconception that fleeing drivers are teens out for a bit of fun. Almost two thirds of police pursuits involve drivers aged 20 or over.

    Furthermore, “most pursuit offenders have substantial criminal offending histories”. In other words, the majority of fleeing drivers are over 20 and have an extensive history of committing crimes. They’re not bored teens.


    • McFlock 33.1

      And half are under 25.

      Table six of that report matches the age chart of pretty much every other fucking stupid thing boys and young men do – if we can get them to 25 or 30, almost all of them will straighten out and be normal, decent people with jobs, families, hobbies, mates, lovers, and lives.

      These kids won’t.

      We’ve had police reviews every few years for twenty-odd years, and kids are still dying. To hell with whatever schadenfreude results from three kids dying because they nicked a car, this is a public health issue. How can we, as a society, do things differently to stop kids doing fatally stupid things? Laugh at the people easy to hate later. We’re doing something wrong, how do we improve it?

      • Ross 33.1.1

        I don’t accept that they will go on to lead a “normal” life. There were just over 4000 pursuits in the study I referred to, and more than 60,000 criminal convictions among those pursued. The average number of convictions among those with a criminal history was 24. How many more convictions might they be expected to get before getting their act together?

        I also don’t accept it’s a public health issue. There were more Lotto millionaires last year than people that died in police chases. That gives you an idea of how difficult it is to be killed in a police chase.

        • McFlock

          You do realise we still monitor for polio? That has a much lower incidence than pursuit-related deaths. Of course it’s a public health issue, people are dying.

          Averages and convictions are funny things – a career criminal fleeing an armed robbery might have fewer convictions than a young hoon who is just a little shit, mouths off at cops at parties, and has a tinny on him when he gets arrested. And that young hoon is probably the sort of stupid jerk who pisses off the cops so they use “all the law”, charge him for every single thing they can and take the time to do a thorough vehicle inspection. But the fact is that most of the time, the little shits grow up into functioning taxpayers with jobs and homes.

          And if every hoon became a career criminal, the first question to ask is “why do we have a zero percent rehabilitation rate for younger offenders”?

  34. jcuknz 34

    As I reach the end of this thread it seems to me
    for all the weird and wonderful solutions suggested there is just one solution.
    Parents should bring up , should care for their children and teach them to follow the rules of our society. But if they were not brought up that way how can they know how to do this.
    Teach them that restrictions are for the good of all … we obey speed limits not because a cop is watching but because it is common sense. OK break the rules when it is unlikely you will get caught but it is really stupid to do it when cops are watching.
    Then if the cops stopped drivers doing the simple things like tail-gating and insisted on the 2 Plus seconds following distance, just one example.
    If people drove correctly … maybe I am lucky … but with one speeding ticket and half a dozen parking tickets over 60 plus years maybe I have the right attitude …. on the other hand I can remember the thrill of getting Dad’s Morris 8 up to 50mph in my early days of driving.
    Teaching children to drive starts at an early age…. I remember sitting on my grandmother’s knee in the front of the Morris 8 as Gran=py drove responsibly for years before I went and got my licence first attempt.
    It all comes down to parents and how they drive with the kids in the car with them.
    As I said earlier it is society not the kids/cops fault. We should be looking at ourselves rather that trying to attribute the blame to somebody else … the favorite pastime of Kiwis.

    • McFlock 34.1

      Preventing any type of crash is about more than making sure one part of the machine or system doesn’t fail.

      Aircraft have warnings and automated systems for when the pilots screw up or fail to monitor something properly. What systems do we have for when parents screw up?

  35. jimmy 35

    I note the Stuff article written by Kamala Hayman got so many comments disagreeing with her view of police must stop chases, the comments were closed off very quickly and the article was removed by the afternoon.

  36. infused 36

    Hopefully this sends a message to other teens.

    Don’t flee the cops and this shit wont will not happen.

    • McFlock 36.1

      Sadly, that isn’t likely.

      They might hear it now, but when kids get carried away with their mates and suddenly the lights start up behind them, abstract rationality gets pushed aside by reflex and panic.

  37. Brutus Iscariot 37

    If 16 year olds are so undeveloped that they will risk their lives and those of innocent bystanders when they see flashing lights, we shouldn’t be allowing them to drive cars in the first place.

    • McFlock 37.1

      That is one possible option.

      Would you like to expand on how it should be implemented, or other policies that would supplement it – driver education in schools, or similar?

      • Brutus Iscariot 37.1.1

        End our Neanderthal car culture and raise the driving age. Auckland has just figured out how to do PT, but the rest of the country is 30 years behind still (i’m talking about main centres like Hamilton, Tauranga, and ChCh).

        And I guess driverless cars will save us in 20 years time.

        • McFlock

          The driverless car thing is a good point. And passenger transport.

          Two of the three kids were under driving age anyway. I wonder how difficult it would be on computer-tuned cars to have a software lock on performance? That would mean that stolen cars wouldn’t get over 100, or even 80kph, but the owner could bung in a password and go for broke on a track day.

          • ropata

            Car dealers already use remote locking devices when they sell to poorer people who are likely to struggle with repayments. Should be feasible to pass a law mandating remote disable devices on certain cars/drivers, that the cops can use when needed

            • McFlock

              Bung GPS on it as well. Let the tech do the work – police get comms to activate GPS when pursuit starts, cut the accelerator when they hit a nice clear bit of road (not the engine itself – power steering and brakes would still be needed).

              I expect a certain sector would go apeshit over it, but it would make things much more safe.

              • ropata

                the road toll is intolerable, this could help immensely with #VisionZero

                the road toll is a national disaster on the scale of Erebus or Christchurch every single year.

    • Gabby 37.2

      I’m not sure ‘allowing’ it has much bearing bruty.

  38. Brutus Iscariot 38

    Also, Christchurch has one fucked up car culture.

    • Draco T Bastard 38.1

      The whole of NZ has a fucked up car culture.

      • ropata 38.1.1

        the number of boy racers in Christchurch is pretty incredible when they all cruise the four avenues on a Friday night. don’t see anything like it in the rest of NZ

  39. David McLeavey 39

    Influential role model and peer drought.

    These adolescents are dead because they were seduced by “Impreza ignition barrels are really easy to pop man.” Rather than “Come down to the wharf with us bro, I’ve got a spare rod and we’re catching mega Kingfish there just now,”

    We’re to blame, we allow these kids the opportunity to satisfy their testosterone rushes through hurting others.

    It’s up to us to provide them with something better to do. If their parents are incapable or lacking, we must take up the slack, otherwise we’ll get what we deserve… Printing off bus timetables because dead kids stole and crashed our cars.

    The best way for us to make a difference is to take a kid with no quality male peers fishing, hook them up with a sports team and a pair of new boots.

  40. David Mac 40

    Influential role model and peer drought.

    These adolescents are dead because they were seduced by “Impreza ignition barrels are really easy to pop man.” Rather than “Come down to the wharf with us bro, I’ve got a spare rod and we’re catching mega Kingfish there just now,”

    We’re to blame, we allow these kids the opportunity to satisfy their testosterone rushes through hurting others.

    It’s up to us to provide them with something better to do. If their parents are incapable or lacking, we must take up the slack, otherwise we’ll get what we deserve… Printing off bus timetables because dead kids stole and crashed our cars.

    The best way for us to make a difference is to take a kid with no quality male peers fishing, hook them up with a sports team and a pair of new boots.

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