New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has revealed the Police will update its fleeing driver policy “to bring more balance.”
Changes to the policy were made two years ago, deeming that the decision to pursue a fleeing driver is determined by the level of risk the offender poses and how safe it is to do so.
In that time, the Police say there has been a significant increase in fleeing driver events and a significant decrease in the proportion of offenders identified.
“However, our data also shows a decrease in the number of people killed during fleeing driver events,” says Coster.
The Police engaged with staff and stakeholders on the matter and understood that there was a desire for change.
“We know there is a desire for change and a perception that offenders are more brazen and more willing to take risks with their driving behaviour,” Coster added.
“The revisions will bring us back to a more balanced position, while still prioritising the safety of officers and the public.”
The changes will include the introduction of a Fleeing Driver Framework, which will make clear to Police officers when a pursuit may be justified.
This includes the severity of further harm being caused by the offender if they are not apprehended immediately.