Waikato Police have raised eyebrows after a posting a rather sneaky message to the public about the introduction of their unmarked police vehicles.
On Wednesday, Waikato Police announced the rollout of their new unmarked patrol vehicles, but wouldn't reveal what they look like.
In their post, they warned Kiwis that they would be around even if members of the public didn't see a police vehicle in sight.
"Here is one of our new unmarked vehicles. I could show you but it would defeat the purpose...," they wrote.
"Don't see a police vehicle around? We might just be there anyway. Anytime, anywhere, we are committed to keeping our community safe."
Their post was accompanied with a blacked-out image of their new unmarked police vehicle wanting to keep the look of the car secret, despite already announcing in July 2020 they would be rolling out a fleet of Holden Equinox patrol vehicles.
Following the police's post, some members of the public questioned the move, believing if police were more visible they would be more successful in preventing speeding.
"I've always thought it's best for Police to be highly visible to prevent speeding rather than catching you speeding," one wrote.
Another asked: "Wouldn't you want people to see that you are active in the community, because of how you protect and serve, rather than sneaking about?"
In response to the public's concerns, National Road Policing manager Steve Greally told the Herald unmarked police cars have proved effective in detecting high-risk behaviours on the roads.
"Unmarked vehicles are particularly effective in detecting high risk behaviours such as driving while not wearing seatbelts, driving while impaired, driving distracted, and travelling at unsafe speeds," he said.
"We know that speed has the biggest impact on the outcome of a crash – whether you walk away, or are carried away.
"Our officers are out there patrolling the roads every day in an attempt to stop people being killed or injured.
"They are visible across the country in our marked cars, and some are also working in unmarked patrol vehicles, all having a significant impact on making New Zealand roads safer.
"The unmarked vehicles increase our ability to more effectively deter, detect and apprehend those who put people's safety at risk, including those who habitually drive in an unsafe manner but modify their driving in the presence of marked Police vehicles."
Police confirmed 24 of the new Holden Equinox unmarked police vehicles have been rolled out around the country in an effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the road.
Greally said the unmarked vehicles come in a range of colours, so will "blend in with any other car on the road".
"This means motorists should be mindful that any other car driving around them could be a Police vehicle."
In July 2020, acting road policing national manager Inspector Peter McKennie said he was "unapologetic" if the new initiative meant motorists would stop speeding on the roads.
"Police is committed to reducing the number of people being killed or injured on the roads," McKennie said.
"Too many people are losing their lives, and the unmarked vehicles will encourage people to think twice about engaging in risky driving behaviour. We want motorists to be conscious about driving safely at all times, expecting there to be a police presence on the roads, anytime, anywhere."
McKennie said the majority of people want to get home safely and the increase of marked vehicles will enable police to detect those who drive dangerously, but who slow down when seeing a marked vehicle.