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Source: New Zealand Police

“This week, a man lost his life during a fleeing driver event. That loss has devastated a family, friends, and an entire community,” says Sandra Venables, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing.

“My thoughts are with the people who are grieving for their loved one. This is never an outcome we want to see.

“This tragic event makes the work Police is doing even more important. We are committed to making our roads safer and that’s what the fleeing driver review and its recommendations are about.”

Police is releasing the first quarterly report on their response to the review of Police’s management of fleeing drivers.

In March, Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority released the thematic review Fleeing Drivers in New Zealand: a collaborative review of events, practices, and procedures.

“This first quarterly report clearly demonstrates we are focused on implementing the action plan.

“There are eight recommendations we are working through, which are being managed by a steering group.

“One of the main points out of the review was the opportunity to ensure our staff are appropriately applying Police’s risk assessment tool TENR (Threat-Exposure-Necessity-Response). So we have been working on developing new scenarios for training our people to ensure better understanding and use of TENR.”

Under this programme of work Police has also been reviewing the current training for Comms Centres and the Police Professional Driver Programme.

One of the recommendations from the review was to research the motivation of fleeing drivers.

“Part of ensuring fleeing driver events are managed as safely as possible is better understanding why they happen in the first place.

“The first research piece has been completed by Police’s Evidence Based Policing Centre and we are also releasing that today.

“It is a literature review of existing research and will provide background for our following research pieces. The paper suggests that attitudes towards police and a perceived presumption they will be treated as guilty have an impact on driver behaviour and the choice to flee. For youth, cognitive development is also a significant factor, as is risk taking and the want to elude police.”

As part of delivering on the Action Plan, Police has been investigating new technologies.

“If there is technology available that would contribute to the safety of these events, then we want to look at those options.

“I want to reiterate that the safest choice in these events is for the driver of the vehicle to pull over and stop when signalled to do so. It is not worth the risk they are putting themselves, their passengers, and other road users in if they choose to flee.”

“Police is focused on continuous improvement around our management of fleeing driver events. While it is ultimately the decision of the driver to flee from Police, it is vital that our staff are continuously monitoring their response to ensure it is aligned with our TENR risk assessment tool.

“We are determined to implement the review recommendations and improve how these high-risk and complex events are managed.”

ENDS

The quarterly report on the Fleeing Driver Action Plan can be found here:  https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/quarterly-reports-fleein…

The fleeing driver research report can be found here: https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/fleeing-driver-research-…

Issued by Police Media Centre

MIL OSI