The IPCA (who are facing funding issues) have once again criticised Police chase policy. The Police say, ‘there is no alternative’, the politicians know NZers think the dead and disabled from police chases are the fleeing drivers fault and while no one does anything meaningful, more members of the public die.
Let’s be honest about why it is so difficult for us as a nation to seriously review police policy.
It’s a cultural political issue.
NZers, fed on a diet of ratings driven crime porn masquerading as news, have become so manipulated they believe it’s the fleeing teens fault if they die or get terribly injured. They refuse to accept that young people’s brains haven’t developed fully, that they aren’t making rational decisions while fleeing police meaning voters are so warped into wanting petty vengeance and suffering as justice they collectively cry, ‘serves them right’ rather than demand an examination of public policy that is seeing dozens dead and hurt.
Politicians play to this by promising harsher penalties rather than investigation so the issue of actually examining police chase policy never enters the debate.
The fall back position police apologists take when confronted by the biological science that young people are hard wired to flee rather than think through the ramifications is ‘there is no alternative’.
Many countries around the world have changed their chase policy because it kills too many members of the public and can we seriously accept that there is no alternative to the current practices? In a May 2013 chase in Tauranga that ended in serious injury, the Independent Police Complaints Authority chairman Sir David Carruthers said…
“Police tail-gating the offender’s car at almost twice the 50km/h speed limit on the wrong side of the road, just two to three car lengths behind, may have placed the fleeing driver under further pressure, leading him to take greater risks with his driving”.
..now I’m no Einstein, but tailgating a fleeing driver at twice the speed limit on the wrong side of the road suggests you need a new bloody police chase policy because that type of behaviour is simply asking for public deaths.
We need to urgently review this policy and the Police need to explain why there is no alternative to the dozens of deaths and injuries even if the wider public have become too warped with anger to see reason.