Darroch Ball, Law and Order Spokesperson
The newly released fleeing driver figures show that the problem is at crisis levels and urgent action must be taken, says New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson Darroch Ball.
“Fleeing driver incident numbers have reached record levels, and continue to grow exponentially each year – sixty percent of incidents ever recorded in New Zealand occurred within just the past four years.
“The number of drivers who flee police every year has more than doubled over the past decade, to over 4,500 incidents in 2018. Within the first six months of 2019 Police recorded more fleeing driver incidents than in the entirety of 2010.
“Police abandonments have also more than doubled over that period, with now close to seventy percent of all pursuits being abandoned.
“Reckless people will continue to flee from police, kill innocent people, and devastate communities if they have a more than a two-to-one chance of getting away.
“The current legislation that deals with fleeing drivers does not give the Police the tools they need to tackle the problem.
“Stronger and more consistent sentences are needed to deter those who decide to flee and set an example that failing to stop and taking the risk is a serious offence.
“New Zealand First has a Member’s bill to address this issue which seeks to increase the severity of punishment for anyone who decides to flee from police.
“We can’t continue to sit on our hands and ignore this crisis,” says Mr Ball.