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Police pursuit report “a cop-out”

Police pursuit report “a cop-out”

Multiple people will die until police pursuits are restricted, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, describes today’s Independent Police Conduct Authority report as “a cop-out” that fails to offer real solutions.

“This IPCA report follows a string of similar past reports, all of which fail to address the real issues. The science is quite clear: if you want to halt the flood of deaths during police pursuits, then restrict police pursuits to genuine emergencies.”

"Most fatal pursuits start from a relatively minor violation and quickly escalate into a major catastrophe. The FBI has made it perfectly clear that many police chases are not necessary and that such pursuits place the public at considerable risk."

Matthew-Wilson believes New Zealand needs to follow the example of several Australian states and ban police chases except in extreme emergencies.

Between 2005 and 2008, Queensland suffered 10 deaths in police pursuits, including 13-year-old Caitlin Hanrick, who died during a pursuit outside a school.

Since Queensland police stopped chasing criminals for minor violations, there have been no deaths during pursuits.

Queensland Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating says police quietly track down ¬offenders “after the emotion and the euphoria of the time has settled down”.

Matthew-Wilson says it's wrong to assume that police are letting offenders 'get away with it' by avoiding a police pursuit. According to the FBI:

"research has shown that if the police refrain from chasing all offenders or terminate their pursuits, no significant increase in the number of suspects who flee would occur."

Matthew-Wilson adds that its pointless expecting teenagers to think logically.

"The simple fact is: the part of the brain that allows an adult to make rational decisions doesn't form properly until the early twenties. That's why teenagers tend to make impulsive decisions that often end badly. Given that teenagers aren't going to stop and think, it's up to the cops to stop and think, instead of letting adrenaline rule their decisionmaking process."

Matthew-Wilson says there will always be a need for police pursuits, but these should be restricted to genuine emergencies.

"If, say, someone is being murdered, obviously the police need to take immediate action. However, FBI studies have shown that it's often better for the police to pull back and let the offender think he's got away, then quietly move in later. This minimises the risk to the police, the public and also the dickhead who's trying to outrun the police."

RELEASE ENDS. For further information please contact dogandlemon.com


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