Police review of pursuits finds the majority of drivers stopped for serious offences
A Police review of pursuits over the past three years has found that in the majority of cases, drivers were stopped for serious offences with 30.2 percent for speeding, 17.4 percent for criminal offending, 14.7 percent for dangerous or careless driving, and suspected drink driving 8.5 percent.
In cases where the age was known, more than 70 percent of fleeing drivers were reported to be below the age of 30, and 23.3 percent of pursued vehicles were recorded as having been stolen. Apprehension rates have remained steady.
The report, which also looks at progress made against an earlier review and pursuits in other jurisdictions, was undertaken after several high profile pursuits resulting in high-speed crashes.
National road policing manager, Superintendent Dave Cliff stressed today that the findings are not a comprehensive analysis and there is more work to be done.
"The report states clearly that we need to take the time to do some more work on this, and we intend to make sure that happens," he said.
'Given the nature of pursuits, and the high-levels of risk associated with them, we need to be very well informed about this area of policing.
"I am also aware that some of the findings from this report need very careful analysis and should to be considered in context.
The pursuits review is one part of the on-going monitoring process. We will use this information to bolster our understanding of the pursuit environment and improve our practices even further," said Superintendent Cliff.
The report analyses all recorded pursuits in the three years between 1 April 2004 - 30 April 2007 and found that nationally there were over 6000 reported pursuits with an average of 162 pursuits per month.
The duration of recorded pursuits ranged from a few seconds through to more than 2½ hours but the vast majority were relatively short: between two and five minutes long.
Some pursuits reached extremely high speeds with almost one percent over 200km/hr. In 51.9 percent of cases, maximum speeds were between 75 and 125km/hr, and in a further 34.4 percent they were reported to have been between 125 and 175 km/hr.
As a proportion of all pursuits, the offender vehicle crash rate has remained stable and in 99 percent of cases there was no serious injury or fatality associated with the outcome of the pursuit.
Copies of the key findings are available on the Police website.