I support the Rotorua Police's response to the Automobile Association's call to ban police pursuits.
They say there needs to be balance.
Rotorua Police area prevention manager Brendon Keenan says: "The public have a trust and confidence that they're safe on the road, but also, they need to have a trust and confidence in our ability to apprehend people."
Police must always be viewed as authoritative and their position must be respected.
To not pursue fleeing drivers is to give crims carte blanche to run away leading to more idiots getting away scot-free with their reckless actions.
As New Zealand Police Association regional director Scott Thompson says in our story today on page 5, police are caught between a rock and a hard place.
He says it is not something police take lightly and at the end of the day there isn't an exact solution to the problem.
"Unfortunately people still die when they're not in pursuit. But how many additional people would die if we don't stop these drivers before they kill someone."
I feel for the police and their commanders who have to make the call to either pursue a fleeing driver or abandon the chase.
They would have to balance the need to catch the driver and the public's safety.
I imagine these are split-second decisions made with only the information being relayed back by the pursuing vehicle.
Thompson suggests making the penalty high enough that people would not want to run, and stop and deal with whatever they were being stopped for.
I agree. Penalties need to be so high that it would not be worth running.
There shouldn't be any excuse for not stopping for police.