25 Mar 2009

Police 'still putting pursuits ahead of safety'

10:26 am on 25 March 2009

The father of a young woman who died after a police pursuit six years ago says police are still not dealing with the real causes of death and injury in such cases.

His comments follow two police pursuits in Auckland during the past week, both of which ended in crashes.

Bryon Burgess' daughter, Erin Burgess, died after a chase in 2003, and he says police still put pursuits ahead of safety.

Mr Burgess says his daughter's case became part of a police review, but the resulting changes in procedure were insufficient.

Assistant Police Commissioner Viv Rickard says officers do put the public first and closely monitor risks during a chase.

Mr Rickard says the number of pursuits fell by 500 between 2007 and 2008 - from 2,630 to 2,130.

Mr Rickard says 99% of chases end without injury or death.