Christchurch trial new defense against fleeing drivers

Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Law and Order

New Zealand First welcomes the deployment of an Eagle Police helicopter in Christchurch in what is a step towards fulfilling its long-standing goal to increase the use of police helicopters for the front line, particularly in addressing the scourge of fleeing drivers.

Christchurch leads the nation in fleeing driver incidents. Every week in Christchurch there is an average of ten fleeing driver incidents, the highest rate per capita anywhere in New Zealand.

As recently as October last year, Christchurch man Kenneth McCaul was tragically killed when his car was T-boned by a fleeing driver who ran a red light to evade police.

New Zealand First Law & Order spokesman Darroch Ball originally put forward the proposal in April last year, stating, “if the police had more helicopters then they'd be far more effective in terms of ensuring that the chase get the culprit whilst not imperiling other road users at the time.

"It’s a no-brainer if we wish to minimise police pursuits and maximise apprehensions to extend our aerial helicopter assets to the main centres which see the greatest number of fleeing driver incidents.

“Every report by police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) shows fleeing drivers reach yet another record number and the increase doesn’t look to be slowing down.

“Newly released Police data shows the number of fleeing drivers have continued to skyrocket with incidents numbering now over 100 every week – almost tripling the number of incidents occurring just ten years ago.

“We hope that the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will be the beginning of a new approach and increased funding for Police helicopters that will make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety,” Mr Ball said.

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