Response to NZ Herald column on police pursuits

NZPA - Greg O'Connor | Thu August 11th, 2016

On 10 August a column by Brian Rudman was published in the NZ Herald that called for the end of police pursuits.

Read the column: Brian Rudman: Pursuit death a heavy toll for crime of idiocy

Police Association President Greg O'Connor responded by way of a letter to the editor of the NZ Herald. Below is his response.


Dear Sir,

Brian Rudman’s (10 Aug) view blaming police for fleeing driver crashes, ignores the fact that the vast majority of deaths and injuries occur within a very short time of those drivers accelerating away from the initial attempt by Police to pull them over.  It is the knowledge that Police are unlikely to continue a pursuit if the driving is dangerous enough, which incentivises those drivers to flee at speed. 

Fleeing driver incidents rose 57% from 2005 to 2015, the number of abandoned pursuits rose 179% over the same period, but the deaths continue.  

We have inadvertently given bad drivers the green light to flee at speed.  Mr Rudman’s solution will entail police never attempting to pull such drivers over in the first place, and just policing law abiding drivers who it is calculated will not flee.

Greg O’Connor

President, NZ Police Association

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