13 May 2013

Clampdown on police pursuits in Tasmania

8:01 pm on 13 May 2013

The union for frontline police officers in Tasmania says a policy that heavily restricts pursuits has led to a rise in car theft in the Australian state.

Four men died in a crash after a pursuit in the Auckland suburb of Mangere at the weekend, leading to calls for changes to the way police car chases are carried out in New Zealand.

In 1991, Tasmania introduced a policy that banned pursuits except for serious crime, such as murder or armed robbery.

Tasmania's Police Association president Pat Allen told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programmeon Monday criminals now know that officers can't drive after them in most cases and stolen cars are harder to trace.

In 2010, there were just eight pursuits in Tasmania.

Police in New Zealand say the number of fatal pursuits alone was double that during the same year, and more than 2200 police chases in 2010.