22 Jul 2015

Unlicensed drivers escape fines

12:56 pm on 22 July 2015

South Auckland police have revealed they allowed one in 13 unlicensed drivers caught in the past 18 months to escape paying a fine.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush last month rejected claims that Maori drivers in the district were being given preferential treatment for traffic offences under a policy that had been applied for 18 months.

Police then began investigating how many times Counties Manukau officers may have used the policy to waive fines.

District Commander John Tims said the policy was based on a badly worded document which had now been amended.

Mr Tims said the unlicensed drivers caught had their fines waived only after completing a compliance programme, and there had never been a policy of offering that option based on race.

The policy now states the actions outlined in the Turning of The Tide strategy, which aims to specifically address Maori victimisation and offending, are not exclusive to Maori, and should be applied with discretion across the board.

Police cannot say how many of the unlicensed drivers who escaped a fine were Maori.