Friday, November 12, 2010

An Orwellian solution

Back in the early 2000's, Israel had a problem. Its policy of assassinating high-ranking Palestinians was drawing international condemnation. So they engaged a team of spin-doctors, and started calling them "targeted killings" instead.

It seems the New Zealand Police have adopted the same tactics to "deal" with the problem of the increased death toll from police chases. The police's policy of aggressively pursuing anyone who flees, on the basis that "they must have something to hide" (despite the empirical evidence showing that this is hardly ever the case) has cost 15 lives so far this year. But rather than accept the recommendations of the Independent Police Conduct Authority to change the policy and pursue only when the actual risk to public safety outweighs the risks of a high-speed pursuit, they have decided instead to simply stop referring to them as chases.

Meanwhile, a police chase in Lower Hutt last night has put another person in critical condition in hospital. The police are still risking our lives with lawless and dangerous behaviour. Its time they were stopped. Its time the IPCA started laying charges against officers who make poor pursuit decisions.