Too fast, too furious: New Zealand youth, moral panics and the police chase

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The images on Monday night were dramatic. Four West Auckland teenage girls steal a car and cause havoc in Mission Bay, with the night ending in a tragic police pursuit that saw three of the teenagers in critical care after smashing their car into a traffic barrier. It was traumatizing for the police involved, dangerous for the public and a split second decision that would alter the life of these young women. Positioned as an exceptional event that was the inevitable result of stupid decision-making, the media glossed over the way Monday’s crash taps into a broader debate on police chases.

Sociologist Stanley Cohen coined the term ‘moral panic’ in his 1972 study of Mods and Rockers to explain the way that the mass media demonizes certain groups in society by positioning them as a threat to the dominant moral order. In doing so, we lose our ability to think rationally about the issues around these groups, and our response becomes more punitive and blown out of proportion. Youth constitute one of the key groups that these panics tend to circulate around, amplified by the sense of nostalgia for past days that constructs a narrative for the need to control and reassert the social order. Cohen’s work is particularly interesting in the case of police chases, because although the discussion of these chases often revolves around the desire to be punitive, this desire functions at the expense of a rational discussion that enables us to reduce the harm that these cause to innocent bystanders, policemen, and the criminals themselves.

Since 2003, New Zealand has seen an exponential rise in car chases – from 500 in 2003 to 2500 in 2010. This mirrors the pattern of Australia, and the UK and the US, the latter two of which have seen car chases rise since the 1990s. In 2009, concerns over the frequency of police chasing led to a review of police pursuit policy conducted by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA). This review examined 137 police chases that resulted in serious injury or death from 2003 to 2009, with a total of 24 people killed and 91 seriously hurt. In the US, the figures are much more disturbing. Police car chases now kill 30 innocent people every six weeks and one police officer. In Los Angeles alone, more than 10,000 people have been injured by car chases since 2002.

While the crash that critically injured the three teenagers this week might seem like an exception – after all, one minute hardly seems like a chase – it is actually more typical in duration than you might expect. International research tells us that the majority of car chases are under 5 minutes, and a quarter are over within 2 minutes. In New Zealand, one in four chases will end in a crash, making this tiny fraction of time that the hunted and their pursues make their decisions incredibly important.

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Many might contest that the decision to flee is indicative of guilt for a more serious offence. However, the IPCA’s 2009 review is that the majority of people likely to flee from police were not people who had committed serious offences. This data falls in line with international research on the rise of car chases. More than a third of police chases were over non-imprisonable traffic offences, and another 9% were the result of police stopping a car for no specific reason. In contrast, only 23% of police chases were in pursuit of people that were known criminal offenders. Who are the most likely to make the decision to flee? The IPCA found that 40% were aged 20 years old and under, with another 30% falling in the 20-39 year old range.

So why would some people without previous prison convictions choose to flee on the basis of a minor traffic infringement? Like other research in psychology that tells us we are less individual than we think – that under the right conditions anyone might have the potential to torture another or become part of a riot – the international research seems to indicate that the decision to flee is partially founded in a split-second, fuelled by high adrenalin and panic. While some people might feel this when they hear a siren and stop, others in this fight or flight mode decide to flee. Police are no less immune to these kinds of pressure, with research revealing that some police in chases also being overcome by adrenalin – a phenomenon of rage and excitement that is referred to as the ‘red mist’. This research reveals that once police make the decision to chase, they can find it difficult to stop even if the conditions are dangerous.

So how can we reduce the phenomenon of teenagers and thirty-somethings fleeing the police at high cost to public and police safety? Well, as the IPCA suggested in 2009, the research tells us that most people slow down within two blocks if they are not chased, meaning minor infractions should not result in police chases – a policy recommendation that was ignored. If this sounds too difficult, this is something that the LAPD believed would reduce police pursuits by up to 60% in 2003. While the application of this policy was not consistent, Texas has managed to reduce their fatalities by focusing on public safety and a similar debate is occurring in Australia. While we eventually might see technology that disables the car motors of errant drivers, for now the best approach seems to be harm minimization that aims at creating safer conditions for communities and the police that patrol them. As police car chase expert and Professor in Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina Geoff Alpert argues, the division in statistics between death-injury-crash remain fairly consistent across all states regardless of their policy. He argues that most people will reduce speed when they feel like they are no longer being chased, making a violent felon only policy an effective method for harm reduction. And if that seems too lenient, consider this statistic from the International Association of Chiefs of Police – 72% of police chases end for a reason that is completely out of the police’s hands.

35 COMMENTS

  1. 2003 – 2010 = 500% in JUST the LAST 7 years!

    Look, forget what the rest of the world says unless you think the problem has been ‘introduced’ to NZ. That sort of increase indicates to me that it is really a NZ problem. – it’s not flight or fight!

    The answer will be found in the differances of the ‘indicators’ between 1996-2003 and 2003-2010 as these periods are relative.

    I can’t see it being a matter of car ownership per head of 16-21 ylds for example, as that would probably not have changed too much. Neither I think would it be policing as they have ‘improved’ training and proceedures surrounding car chases.

    I think it probably has more to do with parenting skills, or more to the point – lack of. Where are all the ‘young drivers’ from anyway – Sth Auckland?, Porirua?

    Get into the background of the drivers, and then use those ‘indicators’ to target ‘re-education resources’ to – as eventually – that is what the courts and the police will have to do. Why? Because they are already turning their noses up at the Police, or at least – running from them.

    • The stats are the same in other countries, hence the level of research into it. The research suggests that it is in changes in policy rather than in say ethnicity or upbringing.

      • So why the increase of 500% ?

        The 7 years prior to 2003 would SURELY give an indication of where to look to find out the answer as to ‘why’.

    • Where are all the ‘young drivers’ from anyway – Sth Auckland?, Porirua? blockquote>

      Harriet – I suggest you re-read Phoebe’s article. It refers to Los Angeles, Texas, etc. I doubt Porirua and South Auckland are situated in either LA or Texas.

      • No ! It specificly states that there is an increase of 500% between 2003-2010 in New Zealand.

        Why? is the first question that anyone would be looking at!

        And as I pointed out, if you compared the 7 years to 2003 – it would give you some ‘indicators’ to work from!

        • I recommend reading the IPCA’s report. It is available in the link in the article. They analyzed this.

  2. The big mistake that Britain made was repealing (in 1896 from memory) the law that required motorised vehicles to be preceded by a man carrying a red flag [because motorised vehicles were considered a public hazard].

    The repeal of that law opened the door to a century of mayhem fuelled by oil companies that wanted to profit from society’s stupidity.

    Fortunately Peak Oil will bring to an end what bought-and-paid-for politicians won’t. But not in time to prevent climate mayhem.

  3. Your para 3 implies that police forces are somehow responsible for the increased number of pursuits of motorists who refuse to stop on request. The inference better supported by the information you refer to is that the number of waster motorists who refuse to stop is increasing.

    Your para 6 makes the case that failing to stop for police is pretty much a normal psychological response that we can expect from a large proportion of the population. This would be more persuasive if the number of wasters failing to stop was constant – but it isn’t constant, it’s increasing.

    Your para 2 implies there’s a “moral panic” in which the media and lobby groups are demanding more punitive responses to crap driving by yoof wasters. In fact, if you look through the positions on this taken by media, officials and lobby groups, you’ll note that the moral panic is actually about the actions of police forces and how these might be changed, and that non-individual calls for greater punitive measures against yoof wasters are difficult to find.

    Missing from your post is any recognition of agency on the part of the wasters crashing the cars. These people aren’t wild animals or some kind of force of nature that we have to take as a given and work around as best we can, they are individuals with the same decision-making capacity as anyone else. In the particular case you refer to, the occupants of the car made a decision to steal a car, made a decision to drive dangerously, made a decision to flee police attempting to stop them and eventually suffered consequences eminently predictable from the previous decisions. Those consequences resulted solely from their own actions, and those consequences fell not only on themselves, but on the police, on the emergency crews responding, on the people whose property they wrecked, on the owner of the car they stole, and eventually on all the long-suffering taxpayers who fund the clean-up, including the extensive cost of treating their wholely self-inflicted injuries. In situations like that, harm minimisation is necessary but a punitive response is also absolutely necessary.

    • In the particular case you refer to, the occupants of the car made a decision to steal a car, made a decision to drive dangerously, made a decision to flee police attempting to stop them and eventually suffered consequences eminently predictable from the previous decisions.

      Nonsense.

      The case referred to contained for girls in their mid-teens. (See: http://auckland.scoop.co.nz/2013/03/four-teenagers-critically-injured-after-speeding-stolen-car-crashes-into-block-wall/) What kind of “decision making” skills do you attribute to 16 and 17 year old teenagers?

      Especially when research is fairly conclusive that the brain is still maturing right up till the early to mid 20s.

      • If you argue that teeneagers can not be held responsible for their criminal activites because their brains are still developing perhaps we should then look at not issuing drivers licenses to them.

        It does not take a PhD in philosophy to know that fighting in public, stealing a car and fleeing police is likely to end badly

        • If you argue that teeneagers can not be held responsible for their criminal activites because their brains are still developing perhaps we should then look at not issuing drivers licenses to them.

          Amanda, the research is fairly well known that brain development in teenagers (up to early 20s) is not yet fully developed. Which is why excessive alcohol/cannabis use for young people has worse effects than for more developed adults.

          There have been suggestions to curb youthful immaturity by either restricting them to small-engined/low-powered vehicles; raising the driving age; etc.

          It does not take a PhD in philosophy to know that fighting in public, stealing a car and fleeing police is likely to end badly

          Of course.

          It’s what we do about it that matters.

    • I am not advocating for criminals, or saying what they do is acceptable. You seem to have missed the point of the article. As Alpert says, the problem is that there are psychological triggers on both sides (the person fleeing and the police) that put the public at danger. He advocates for Tactical Observation and Vehicle Interception Procedure. This is where the subject does not realize they are being followed (and therefore usually do not speed up) and then they are intercepted safely when they slow down at intersections. The point is not to let people get away with crime, or to blame it on police who do a really difficult job and are under a lot of pressure, but to look at the debate surrounding it in a rational way.

      • I don’t believe I’ve missed the point of the post at all. The bulk of it consists of implications that police are to blame for pursuits, that drivers failing to stop for police is a trivial matter and that disgust with the people crashing cars while driving dangerously is some kind of “moral panic.”

        There definitely are psychological triggers that prompt people to commit crimes and yes we do want to avoid those triggers, but one of the strongest psychological triggers for crime is the belief that you won’t be caught, and that trigger should also be avoided.

        As to alternative methods of apprehending wasters who won’t stop, sure, the safer the better. As long as it does result in them getting apprehended – if it doesn’t, the “rational” term for those methods is “admitting defeat.”

        • The bulk of the post is on analyzing the issues through contemporary research. It is also worth noting that the lobby is not divided between police and public – there are police officers who are opposed to the dominant chase policy in the US because they believe it puts them in danger. There are also some states who have adopted harm reduction policies and have still been effective in apprehending subjects.

        • There definitely are psychological triggers that prompt people to commit crimes and yes we do want to avoid those triggers, but one of the strongest psychological triggers for crime is the belief that you won’t be caught, and that trigger should also be avoided.

          And there are as many “triggers” as there are crimes. For some it’s greed; for some it’s alienation brought on by dysfunctional family-upbringing (or not upbringing, more accurately); alcohol; drugs; for others it’s stupidity; for others it’s a sense of wanting to belong to a group; etc, etc.

          One point to remember is that young adults often have little concept of consequences. For them, a car chase is a scene from a Hollywood movie where no one gets hurt.

          These days, car chases in movies are de rigueur, in a comic-book style, where there are no consequences except that if it’s the “good guy” being chased, s/he usually gets away unharmed. (And kids usually identify with the “good guy”, even if it’s an anti-hero of sorts.)

          Even our own locally-made “Goodbye Pork Pie” was one long car-chase, with police chasing the occupants of a stolen mini. The driver of the mini was shown to be the individualistic “good guy”, thumbing his nose at Authority, and law enforcement officers depicted as arms of a conformist Muldoonist state.

          I think that message was not lost on a lot of young folk at the time.

          Couple that with our societal obssession with alcohol and kids’ belief that they are “bullet-proof”, and we have the makings of a tragic scenario.

          As such, police car chases become a kind of quasi-Hollywood” “action scene” where adrenalin kicks in and irrational decisions are made on the spur of the moment.

          As such, I think Phoebe’s post at March 9, 2013 at 11:52 am is a good, common sense response to this issue.

    • I clicked “thumbs up” instead of “thumbs down” by mistake and can’t seem to change it (they should fix that… my clicking aim isn’t the best in the morning).

      Phoebe does in fact refer to people “deciding to flee”, but she doesn’t denote this decision occurring in a vacuum, which means she has an accurate understanding of agency.

      Explicitly mentioning something is not the same as as recognising it. That Phoebe doesn’t mention the agency of people who flee more overtly than this, and you think she should, represents only a difference of opinion in that you think an article on police chases necessarily needs to include explicit moral condemnation of the choice to flee, whereas she does not, perhaps because she thinks that there is already ample moral condemnation of the fleer, and in her article she is attempting to right the balance and provide the other sides. A journalistic difference, that’s all. Not an indication that Phoebe doesn’t recognise agency.

      In fact, it is your recognition of agency which appears to be lacking. You do miss Phoebe’s point, as you fail to understand that in this article Phoebe is drawing attention to the agency of police and those who shape police policy, and suggesting some changes that could be made on that level, which could reduce harm regardless of choices made by other agents. That people shouldn’t choose to flee police in cars is a given… her article is going beyond that to look at how other choices and circumstances could change to reduce harm (ie. she wants a rational discussion)… rather than implying that looking wider than moral opposition to the fleer somehow undermines or negates it.

      It is also you who treat agency and its consequences as a force of nature that must be taken as a given. Phoebe is analysing the reasons behind such choices, and seeing ways to manage the harm that results from the choice to flee and the choice to chase.

      Attributing sole responsibility to one agent in any situation is always a simplistic and inaccurate understanding of agency, and implying that we cannot or should not attempt to change the negative consequences of that agency with our own agency, but instead let the consequences work themselves out as some kind of natural justice (even when the consequences are suffered by innocent third parties, as you mention), is always a stupid response to acknowledging agency. (To imply that ‘letting people suffer the consequences’ is the best or only way to influence people to make better choices is also an inaccurate understanding of agency).

      It’s a similar situation to feeding children in schools. Yes, it’s (largely or primarily) parents’ responsibility to feed their children, and they have agency (among other factors) to do so or not do so, but it’s also the rest of society’s responsibility to care for our children and prevent harm done by others’ agency. We have the agency to respond in such a way, and to suggest doing so is not a denial of agency but a proper and full recognition of, and response to, the agency of all parties.

      I’m not sure what you mean by a punitive response, but I hope you don’t see chasing as a part of this punitive response. If a punitive response is necessary for those who would flee and risk danger, applying this punitive response when they are eventually apprehended and tried is a much better way of making the punitive response proportional (one of the central planks of criminal justice) – chasing them and treating the random consequences of the chase as the fleer’s just punishment has no control on proportionality, nor that punishes the innocent as well.

      A central flaw in your argument is your refusal to let Phoebe shift the focus onto the agency of police policy, and your attribution of rational decision-making to the criminals/fleers only. Your follow-up comment says that police methods must ensure that the fleer is caught then and there (which is actually an impossible guarantee) for the sake of the fleer’s decision-making. In other words, your policy suggestion is to let the choices of (presumed) criminals, in the heat of the moment, dictate the choices of police, and expect that that will lead to better choices.

      Rational decisions won’t be made if we leave all the rational decision-making to criminals in the heat of the moment. We can’t expect people when deciding whether to flee or not to be reading police policy documents on when to chase and when not to chase and weighing up their chances, let alone to access data on harm statistics, and to undertake rational cost-benefit analyses for their decision… however, we can and should expect people shaping police policy to access this information and undertake rational analyses of what police responses should be in these situations.

      • In fact, it is your recognition of agency which appears to be lacking. You do miss Phoebe’s point, as you fail to understand that in this article Phoebe is drawing attention to the agency of police and those who shape police policy…

        Given that police policy and activity are pretty much the only levers we have to effect any changes in this area, that’s indisputably the area to focus on. But the issue needs to be framed in terms of, first, how to discourage people from committing an offence, and second, how to apprehend them at the least risk to public safety if they commit the offence. What it definitely does not need is for the issue to be framed in terms of minimising the agency of the offenders and portraying the problem as being largely due to police activity – and if you think that isn’t what the author has done, try reading her post again.

        Attributing sole responsibility to one agent in any situation is always a simplistic and inaccurate understanding of agency…

        Not so. There’s always a context, but sometimes the context counts for shit. Consider the occasions when cops announce that women should avoid being out late at night drunk and/or in revealing clothing because one was raped. The cop is simply wrong – the cause of the rape and accountability for it lies solely with the rapist. Fill in all the context you like about his violent upbringing, lack of role models etc, her slutty outfit and being out by herself at night, it’s all meaningless bullshit when the question “who is responsible for this offence?” comes up. The only person responsible for a crash that follows pursuit by the Police is the waster behind the wheel – all police policy can do is try to discourage the likelihood of the waster making the decision to flee, and ensure apprehension of the wasters who do flee, at the least risk to public safety.

        (To imply that ‘letting people suffer the consequences’ is the best or only way to influence people to make better choices is also an inaccurate understanding of agency).

        I don’t believe I have implied that. That the consequences of these girls’ actions was eminently predictable isn’t the same thing as saying we should just let it happen. For one thing, wasters don’t always crash into something as unfeeling as a wall.

        Rational decisions won’t be made if we leave all the rational decision-making to criminals in the heat of the moment. We can’t expect people when deciding whether to flee or not to be reading police policy documents on when to chase and when not to chase and weighing up their chances, let alone to access data on harm statistics, and to undertake rational cost-benefit analyses for their decision…

        The idea that wasters have no idea what police policies are is up there with Frank’s view that teenagers are incapable of making decisions – it’s simply wrong. Certainly, wasters have no idea what the details of police policies are, but there isn’t a waster in the country unaware that current police policy means your pursuers have to give up if you just keep your foot down for long enough. What influence that knowledge has had on the increase in drivers failing to stop really would be worthy of a study.

        If we want “rational” policy in this area, there are three goals it must achieve:

        1. It must discourage drivers from deciding not to stop for police.

        2. It must ensure that offenders who do fail to stop are caught and punished.

        3. It must minimise the risk to public safety.

        1 is contingent on 2, because the thing that most discourages people from committing an offence is a strong likelihood of being caught.

        However, 2 is in conflict with 3, because apprehending someone who doesn’t want to be apprehended and has control of a vehicle necessarily involves risk to public safety – either through the measures taken to apprehend them, or through delaying and leaving them to continue the behaviour that attracted police attention in the first place.

        I’m as keen on goal 3 as anyone else, but if we ignore goals 1 & 2, then 3 isn’t improved greatly either.

  4. Yes, thanks for raising the issue Phoebe, and supplying some interesting research results. I consider police chases resulting in injury and fatalities all about police experiencing “red mist” as explained in this article.

    I do not like when it is reported that there has been a police chase resulting in an accident. I particularly do not like that the police spokesperson invariably states “we called the chase off a minute [or less] prior to the accident” I find this dubious and a clear attempt at disowning culpability.

    Police chasing citizens leading to accidents is irresponsible behaviour from an organisation that requires respect from the society they are involved with. The police need to think long and hard about their own actions on this matter and how it effects their public relations, & ensuing effectiveness and ease of achieving their aims.

    I hold the police responsible for injuries and fatalities resulting from car chases. One does not always expect young people to make proper decisions, due to their lack of experience. I, for one, do expect an organisation like the NZ police to make sound decisions (giving some leeway for human error) and this car chase resulting in accidents business has been going on too long to conclude that it is simply an aberration of an otherwise soundly addressed issue. These chases must stop.

    What is so hard about noting down the registration number and description of the car and backing off?

    • What is so hard about noting down the registration number and description of the car and backing off?

      Nothing hard about it all, the issue is with what is achieved by doing it, which is nothing. The “nothing” arising from the fact that when the officers visit young Munter the next morning to hand him his ticket, they’re told that he wasn’t using his car at the time and it must have been an unidentified friend who was driving it. There’s also the matter of how road safety is assisted by fostering a culture of impunity among the worst drivers.

      • Nothing hard about it all, the issue is with what is achieved by doing it, which is nothing.

        You have the registration number thus, if it’s their car, can arrest them later at home. If it’s not their car then you have a slight problem.

        …they’re told that he wasn’t using his car at the time and it must have been an unidentified friend who was driving it.

        Change the law so that the young munter is responsible no matter what unless s/he can prove who was driving it.

        • Yes, as Draco the Bastard says, address the issue by changing some laws.

          OR continue to have the police kill people, who may or may not have committed a heinous crime worthy of a death sentence.

          The required response is pretty clear to me.

          It was also mentioned (somewhere on TV) that cameras on police cars may address the issue. Certainly getting ID of the people driving would be helpful.

          I continue to hold the view that:

          ~ death resulting from fleeing from a police vehicle is not a fair or sound consequence for the action.

          ~Police people, are endangering their own, as well as the public’s lives by this response to people fleeing from them.

          ~Police people need to come across as level headed, not bloodthirsty mavericks. This is very important for their effectiveness in the community.

          • And yet your response has been nothing more than the internet emotive ‘red misting’ with no conception of fact, reality or the relevant policies.

            Firstly you accuse the Police of engaging in a criminal conspiracy over when the call off the pursuit, completely disregarding the fact that the time the pursuit is abandoned is recorded by a comms center (or are they in on the conspiracy as well and doctoring the tapes?) secondly are all the witnesses to these crashes also somehow in on this conspiracy and lying on behalf of the Police?

            Or is there a rather more simple explanation, and one that completely and utterly debunks your entire argument. That when the Police abandon the pursuit because it is getting dangerous, that the drivers still continue to drive dangerously and crash.

            Logic huh, who would have thought….

          • @ Jeff
            “…with research revealing that some police in chases also being overcome by adrenalin – a phenomenon of rage and excitement that is referred to as the ‘red mist’.” ~P Fletcher

            Hmm, Given Phoebe’s definition of “red mist” I don’t accept your proposal that I am indulging in such. It appears to be a phenomenon involving adrenalin, rage and excitement; none of which I am displaying.

            I have put forward that I find the statements that the police backed off a chase a minute or less prior to a crash dubious. Yes, there is some accusation that there is dishonesty involved, however there is also the logical and reasonable assumption that backing off a few seconds prior to a car crashing simply doesn’t cut it as far as not being part of the cause of the crash. It would take more than a few seconds for the fleeing person, who is in full “flight” mode, to even realise that they were no longer being pursued; by which time, in some cases it appears they have crashed. You are welcome to disagree on this point, however making poorly directed accusations of where I am coming from is not a sound manner in which to argue a point.

            You respond to this “red mist” aspect of my comment; however do not appear to have responded to any other points I made.

            For example, I think that injury/death is not a suitable consequence for the actions of fleeing. This, I believe to be the crux of this issue. Do you think this result is suitable?

            Another comment I made, was that I think that this behaviour, of police chasing drivers who are fleeing resulting in injury and death, is not helpful for the police’s effectiveness in the community. I believe it damages their reputation as an organisation that requires to be seen as both concerned for community well-being and whom are making sound level-headed decisions in their work. If people start viewing the police as hot-headed units, I believe, will lessen their effectiveness in the community. What do you think of this point?

          • For example, I think that injury/death is not a suitable consequence for the actions of fleeing. This, I believe to be the crux of this issue. Do you think this result is suitable?

            I think you’ll find it’s the laws of physics, rather than the NZ Police, that impose consequences of injury or death for dangerous driving. And the laws of physics steadfastly ignore our opinions of their suitability, so if that is the crux of this issue there’s actually no issue to debate.

          • @Psycho Milt
            The issue is over whether the Police need to be responding to drivers fleeing in a way that leads them to continue “challenging” the “laws of physics”.

            Nice red herring, but red herrings won’t address the issue.

  5. Graphs show that Police chases here have risen exactly parallel to increased road policing hours, boy racer legislation and steadily increasing quotas for infringements. More ppl fleeing directly correlates to more ppl being asked to stop, often as the above article says FOR NO REASON bar a snoop to look for issues. Youth with cannabis will panic. Youth who fear getting picked on will flee. Other jurisdictions are further ahead in addressing the harm than the above article shows, States that have severely restricted States are getting reduced carnage to innocent and fleeing victims on average. I know old MoT cops who find the policy today repugnant. The revenue role of policing here creates a conflict with the publics safety interests, I only hope the constitutional review will provide an outcome to curtail Police from continuing applying a lethal force chase policy despite repeat requests from the IPCA to get a more civilised fit for purpose policy.

    • The revenue role of policing here creates a conflict with the publics safety interests,

      What revenue role?

      That said, I’m in favour of splitting the police and traffic enforcement up again.

  6. A couple years out of date, but gives the overview and most importantly what the better alternatives are. preventinsanechasekillinggroup.yolasite.com

  7. Ah yes lets instead just give car thieves legal immunity from being stopped and caught by Police…Fatalities from police chases pale into insignificance when compared against young people drinking and driving or just driving dangerously, all of which will be encouraged if they know that they are untouchable on the roads.

    • We don’t have to choose between current policy and “legal immunity”/”untouchable on the roads”. There is middle ground.

    • And how well do you think it ends when those young drunk people are pursued? Drunk drivers are certainly a dangerous risk but pursuing them is a sure fire way of increasing that risk.

    • fatalities from police chases pale into insignificance when compared against young people drinking and driving or just driving dangerously…

      So, you’d advocate a police car chasing a DRUNK driver…?

      As for saying that “fatalities from police chases pale into insignificance” – those fatalities might not be quite so “insignificant” if they were members of your family? Or you yourself?

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting “immunity” from anything. What’s being debated is using other strategies rather than risking injury, maiming, or death to innocent bystanders.

  8. Hi Phoebe,

    Just wondering where you are getting your statistics from about police pursuits for cases that have come after the 2009 IPCA report? Just out of personal interest 🙂

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