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Topic # 67106 27-Aug-2010 21:47
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This has been hammered to death in the media today after last nights tragic death of two innocent people, but what do the geeks think?

My thoughts are that to even consider doing away with pursuits is ludicrous and here is an example why:

At the moment if you are driving intoxicated/stolen car/disqualified etc there is always the knowledge that you could get caught and if you try and get away you will be chased by the police. I think that is a reasonable deterrent, it doesn't stop everybody of course but it will stop quite a bit of this behaviour occurring.

If the policy is amended to prevent police pursuits this deterrent is removed completely so why stop at all?

Now at this point you will say well the police can just get the rego and go around to someone's address and get them the next day.

This is frought with problems however.

For a start if the car is stolen you won't know where it will be. If the person is intoxicated by the next day they will have sobered up.

But the main issue here is trying to prove who was driving at the time.

Imagine trying to ID someone in a moving vehicle at night, pretty much impossible.

All police can do if the registered owner will not say who was driving the vehicle at the time is serve them a notice which gives them 14 days to come up with the details.

After this 14 day period is up they can then be prosecuted. However, the maximum penalty for failing to provide this info is a fine only. Realistically you are looking at a fine under $500 including court costs unless you have masses of criminal history.

So with the current system you stand a very good chance of getting caught. If you are intoxicated, driving a stolen car or disqualified these offences all carry a possible term of imprisonment and further disqualification of your licence.

Take away the police pursuits and drivers will just take off at every oppurtunity, knowing that the police will not give chase and also knowing that down the line the worst that will happen to them is the registered owner may get fined.

So what is the solution?

If anything is to change I think it needs to change at a government level and there needs to be stiffer penalties for those that do not stop and also for the owners of the vehicles that do not co-operate later. There should also be mandartory imprisonment for drivers that injure or kill others whilst fleeing from the police. I think a minimum of 7 years for any life taken would be a good starting point.


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  Reply # 373772 27-Aug-2010 21:53
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The penalty for not stopping needs to be harsher. Currently they get a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket at thw worst. Instant confiscation of car, 6 months in jail and a $10K fine all mandatory should do it.

And the public/media need to stop blaming the Police, it's the idiots that do the runner that are at fault. I get sick of the "police blame game" that always follows these tragedies.





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  Reply # 373791 27-Aug-2010 22:32
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^ Agreed.

The media spend more time analysing if the police complied with policy instead of focussing on the jerk who caused the whole mess in the first place.

Failing to stop for red/blue flashing lights is usually the first charge to be withdrawn in exchange for guilty pleas on other charges, or the person will be convicted and discharged. In my experience it's always one of those 'throw away' charges.

A minimum, mandatory, non-negotiable period of imprisonment for all pursuits needs to be considered by government. People need to know there will be real and unavoidable penalties for failing to stop.




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  Reply # 373792 27-Aug-2010 22:33
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It absolutely sickens me that some moron could kill two innocent people just like that. It isnt the polices fault by any stretch. Knowing the court system the wasteman that did it will be on home detention etc for 1 or 2 years then free to carry on.

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  Reply # 373793 27-Aug-2010 22:35
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Yeah last night's crash in chch was just near where I work, got to see glass on the road this morning. It's not the police's fault, it's the dumb guys behind the wheels trying to be cool and "escape"

If you die, you don't respawn in real life, n00bs.




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  Reply # 373796 27-Aug-2010 22:36
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harsher penalties for attempting to evade the police is my call. video cameras in police cars, large fines and disqualification would all be a good idea. at least make the fines for running *worse* than the fines for being caught over the limit and other offences where people think they're better running.

i reckon that one of the big reasons we're having so many problems is because people *know* that the police have to back off the car chase if it gets dangerous. they think it gives them a fair chance to drive like idiots and get away. the onboard cameras at least could help curb that issue.




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  Reply # 373797 27-Aug-2010 22:37
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Rather heated debate on press.co.nz article.

I made my own input, which of course everyone ignored cause it was the cold truth.

Everyones quick to blame the police, but would never offer to put themselves in their shoes willingly eh. Not even to 'try and make a change' like they say with voting etc.

i reckon that one of the big reasons we're having so many problems is because people *know* that the police have to back off the car chase if it gets dangerous. they think it gives them a fair chance to drive like idiots and get away. the onboard cameras at least could help curb that issue.


Correct.. It was announced during the previous review what they do and don't do.. and BOOM they all started doing it (turning lights off and driving opposite side of road)

If only all the good things they do was publicised so eagerly :/

(we have at least 1 persuit a weekend in CHC ;) )



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  Reply # 373798 27-Aug-2010 22:39
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Also part of the problem is that you can get drunk, do a runner from a police checkpoint, hit an innocent motorist killing them and then still not be sent to jail. (20 yr old female in Blenheim)

Unless the justice system really starts placing realistic values on life everything else is a waste of time.

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  Reply # 373813 28-Aug-2010 00:06
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Wow finally a discussion on GZ where I completely agree with everyones comments. Big red tick for harsher mandatory penalties, not just for those that fail to stop but anyone that knowingly, by their behaviour, endangers other motorists. Penalties should include:
- Loss of Licence with compulsory re-education
- Loss of Vehicle (following criteria in section 129 of Sentencing Act 2002)
- Significant Prison Sentence where ANY injury has resulted
- Running from Police included in 3 Strikes regulation (is it currently??)

I would also like to see a public 'Name and Shame'.

The last couple of chases in Christchurch that have resulted in deaths (and been widely publicised) were under 30 seconds long and involved the offenders running red lights and crashing. Its hard to establish whether a pursuit is dangerous and should be called off in that time let alone go through the correct procedures. The other worrying trend that has emerged is that all the recent chases (as far as I can remember) have involved males under 25 driving either illegally (disqualified/no licence) and/or under the influence.

Marmel has hit the nail of the head with his thoughts. Police must continue to pursue offenders that fail to stop, restricting their ability even further or removing it altogether will undermine the authority of the Police and further endanger the public.

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  Reply # 373815 28-Aug-2010 00:15
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Things that I like:
- Police never giving up a chase if at all possible.
- Instant jail time for people who run, regardless of if injury has occurred. 
- Crushing their car.

Things I don't like:
- It always put out there as being the cops fault (any kind of accident ect).
- Media stirring everyone up about it.
- Small cost to the people running.
- People saying we need harsher fines.

I would like to put forward the idea of a public flogging for people that run, though I'm sure not many people will agree with me :-P

kingjj: have involved males under 25 driving [...]

I can't wait till I am over 25 for my insurance.

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Reply # 373820 28-Aug-2010 00:53
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A top military sniper in the passenger seat of every cop car.  You get 10 seconds to pull over, and if you don't, you get a nice bit of metal lodged in the back of your head.

This works well because:
- the law abiding public who do pull over will not be shot.
- it stops muppets who drive off from killing anyone but themselves
- those who have multiple convictions, and have nothing to lose? Saves us, the taxpayer, from subsidising their sorry a$$es in jail.

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  Reply # 373823 28-Aug-2010 01:26
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nate: A top military sniper in the passenger seat of every cop car.  You get 10 seconds to pull over, and if you don't, you get a nice bit of metal lodged in the back of your head.


lol. perhaps shooting them with an EMP device might be a bit more PC.  There arent many cars these ays that would continue to run after all the electrics are shut down.




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  Reply # 373828 28-Aug-2010 03:10
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+1 to everything above (except probably nate's sniper idea) - there's a clear consensus here.

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  Reply # 373855 28-Aug-2010 09:28
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Regs:

i reckon that one of the big reasons we're having so many problems is because people *know* that the police have to back off the car chase if it gets dangerous. they think it gives them a fair chance to drive like idiots and get away. the onboard cameras at least could help curb that issue.


This in itself is one of the major problems right now.

Criminals know that with the softening of the pursuit policy in recent years that running from the Police is the best option. Doing something as simple as turning your lights off at night will virtually guarantee that a pursuit will be abandoned. Every day there are numerous pursuits that are called off - what incentive is there to stop when you know that the odds of you getting away are far greater than of being caught?


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Reply # 373884 28-Aug-2010 10:48
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eracode: +1 to everything above (except probably nate's sniper idea) - there's a clear consensus here.


Nate's idea is the best but they should have access to rocket launchers as well

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  Reply # 373890 28-Aug-2010 11:14
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sbiddle:
Regs:

i reckon that one of the big reasons we're having so many problems is because people *know* that the police have to back off the car chase if it gets dangerous. they think it gives them a fair chance to drive like idiots and get away. the onboard cameras at least could help curb that issue.


This in itself is one of the major problems right now.

Criminals know that with the softening of the pursuit policy in recent years that running from the Police is the best option. Doing something as simple as turning your lights off at night will virtually guarantee that a pursuit will be abandoned. Every day there are numerous pursuits that are called off - what incentive is there to stop when you know that the odds of you getting away are far greater than of being caught?



I think one of the major problem for police is the health and safety laws that they must abide to.
Previously they were allowed to 'Box' in a vehicle, But now only AOS/STG member may box in a Vehicle.
Also another problem is lack of equipment and Aerial support. For example police are still using hand held radios and the only Aerial support is based in Auckland.  NZ runs a restrictive pursuits policy which weighs up the safety of the public and the law enforcement side of things. More Training is needed as mentioned in the latest review.




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