Last week I had occasion to chat with a couple of detectives whom I had had the pleasure of working with back in the day. They were executing a warrant to search a vehicle that had been impounded following a short pursuit after it had managed to get away from a constable by hiding in a layby.
They had turned up in one of the new Holden Land Yachts (in mufti, which they had nicked from the Traffic PFCs, because the Feds don’t like being seen). Following the bagging I gave the Equinox when they were first announced as a replacement for the Commodore, I thought some real-world follow-up was required.
I asked the dastardly duo what they thought of the Holden and received a glowing, “It’s OK, I guess.” I ventured forth with my opinion that it might be a bit of a pig at speed and that I doubt I would want to pursue anybody in one, which was met with the reply, “No it’s not the best, but then we’re not really allowed to pursue anyone anymore.”
Well, we had a laugh about how pathetic policing in New Zealand had become and they carried on looking for something illicit in the impounded vehicle.
A couple of nights later, I was perusing the ‘Police News’, which is an in-house NZ Police magazine that used to be only available to cops but now is available online to anybody that cares to view it. My favourite part of the magazine is a little round-up of what is going on in the policing world, by an anonymous, front-line, small-town cop who writes under the pseudonym ‘Iam Keen‘. Mr Keen doesn’t pull any punches and some of his criticisms likely draw the ire of the bosses and the union head, but he has been allowed to vent his spleen and pontificate on the state of policing in NZ for many years now and seems to have a pretty good grasp of reality.
This month’s article mentioned a few things, like how the cops on the street are not seeing anything in the latest ‘Crackdown on Gangs‘ that was so much hyped by your government.
My sources tell me that few, if any,Iam Keen. Police News April ’21.
districts have assigned any staff over and
above normal organised crime groups to
Op Tauwhiro, and no specific actions are
planned beyond reporting seizures under
the op name.
He also threw a much deserved barb at the Race Relations Commissioner for recently branding the entire police department as racist, but what really struck me was his writings about how the “New Pursuit Policy“ is such a failure.
Now you may remember when the Police Commissioner recently came out defending the new ‘no chase’ policy as being nothing new, business as usual. But of course all intelligent people, and certainly every single crim, could see straight through that.
Iam Keen enlightened us as to a true face-palming, head-shaking, ‘you’ve got to be bloody joking’ anecdote surrounding a recent Police Non-Pursuit that supposedly occured somewhere down South.
It seems that a vehicle was seen driving on the wrong side of the road with a blown-out tyre, driving on the rim. Many reports from members of the public had come in about the driver’s erratic manner of driving, narrow misses with other cars, running red lights at speed and almost coming to grief.
The local officers were denied permission to initiate a pursuit and bizarrely, to even try and spike the car’s remaining tyres. The driver, obviously aware that police would not chase him, deliberately drove past a stopped patrol car a few times taunting them, then pulled in behind the patrol car and attempted to ram it! The officers in the car, showing the fortitude of Brave Sir Robin, promptly drove off at speed to avoid being hit.
Monty Python would have been proud. You can just hear the radio call now, “Run Away, Run Away.”
So now we have police fleeing from the bad guys! And they wonder why the general public have been slowly but steadily losing the respect for police that they once held.
As Iam Keen said:
Now that is a kind of madness, and it all unfolded in front of members of the public. The offender was later located, thanks to good police work, but that all took several hours.Iam Keen, Police News, April ’21.
I heard that the officers felt totally helpless as well as being concerned for their safety and that of the public because they were unable to take immediate measures to stop the plonker behind the wheel. Let’s hope we start to see the upside of this policy soon.
It seems that esteemed BFD moderator and fellow ExPFC ‘HR’ may have been right when he commented about the police purchase of family SUVs for patrol duties well over a year ago on the previous Equinox article that I wrote.
At the time he stated, “Unless, of course, the police have an ulterior motive for this, like moving to a ‘no pursuit’ policy because the vehicles are not suitable.”
Ahh, HR, you are indeed an Oracle, or perhaps a Truth-smeller Pursuviant, smelling the ulterior motive even a year out. Remind me again how many chases we lost? Oh yeah that’s right, none.
I’m so glad I’m not in that line of work anymore, I could never live down the embarrasment of having to flee from a bad guy in a partially disabled car!
The NZ Police policy of no pursuits is an awful idea that can only lead to further loss of respect in our frontline police officers, more trauma to the public and fewer bad guys inside, all because we have a namby-pamby, soft-on-crime government who can’t even be bothered to try to do the catching anymore. (At least National’s Simeon Brown gets it!)
Perhaps Labour’s new Police policy can be changed from ‘Catch and Release’ to Oma atu ka huna, ‘Run Away and Hide’.
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