As the New Zealand Police begin to roll-out new Skoda Superb police cars nationwide, a fresh report has revealed the scale of costs behind repairing damaged police cars since 2015.
According to statistics published overnight, close to 9000 police cars have been damaged over the last six years, with the bill to repair these cars totalling $24.3million.
This damage does not solely cover cars crashed by police officers, but it’s curious to see that 2107 vehicles implicated in the data were damaged after being crashed into stationary objects.
Some 331 out of the near 9000 figure were police write-offs. Over 1000 of them were intentionally rammed by offenders, and 618 of them were deliberately vandalised.
Another 162 had to be repaired after hitting animals of some kind, and 39 had to be repaired after red lights were “disobeyed”.
Officers in the Waitemata and Counties Manukau districts are shown by the data as the most likely to rack up damage, followed by Auckland City and Canterbury.
The four regions recorded 25 damaged vehicles ($25,855.57 in damages), 27 damaged vehicles ($21,158.18 in damages), 13 damaged vehicles ($9479.19 in damages), and 10 damaged vehicles ($4274.94 in damages) respectively in the first two months of 2021 alone.
According to reports, the New Zealand Police are concerned about an increase in cars being intentionally rammed by offenders. A source told the NZ Herald that it “has become a major problem”, and follows “a deliberate pattern”.
According to published figures, the number of intentional rammings is steadily increasing. In 2015, 132 cases were reported. That contrasts to numbers from 2019, where 249 cases were reported — almost double.
Among the more unique cases of damage recorded by the police was a Christchurch case last year where a 42-year-old woman who had refused a breath test stole a police car then crashed it. Another was when police rammed the Christchurch mosque shooter’s car off the road in 2019.