Police look at drones, GPS trackers and refreshed training while working on pursuit review

Police say they are strengthening training as well as looking at using drones, GPS trackers and other technology as part of their fleeing driver policy review.

The aftermath of a fleeing driver incident in Auckland, with the fleeing vehicle driven by a 15-year-old. Source: 1 NEWS

An update on their progress was released today, which comes after an innocent man died during a fleeing driver incident in Christchurch on Tuesday.

Kenneth McCaul, 64, died from his injuries after a car-load of people fleeing from police crashed into his car, authorities said.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Kenneth McCaul has been remembered as a loving husband who took extreme care with hospital patients he worked with. Source: 1 NEWS

Assistant commissioner for road policing Sandra Venables said in a release that "this tragic event makes the work Police is doing even more important".

"We are committed to making our roads safer and that's what the fleeing driver review and its recommendations are about," Ms Venables said.

Police said today that a 17-year-old male has been charged with manslaughter and reckless driving causing injury over the crash, and he is due to appear at Christchurch Youth Court.

Your playlist will load after this ad

It’s the first joint review by police and its watchdog body, the IPCA. Source: 1 NEWS

The quarterly update released today outlines several actions police are taking in response to the report, including looking at the practices of officers taking part in pursuits, the use of the police helicopter and potential new technology.

Police said they looked at Australia's use of police helicopters and are in the process of discussing how they could be better used during pursuits.

They are also looking at the most effective ways to stop a vehicle after it has had its tyres punctured by road spikes, and are investigating the use of remotely-fired tyre spiking devices, which would mean the officer wouldn't have to be so close to a car being driven erratically.

After the February report, police put out a tender to market looking for solutions to help them manage pursuits.

They said in their update that 14 responses had been received with a range of solutions, including tyre deflation devices, drones and GPS trackers.

The video feeds coming from their Eagle police helicopter was upgraded in July, police said, allowing for "near real-time" transmission of footage to command centres.

Police are also working on technology which tracks the location of each individual officer to provide "accurate, real-time" location data.

Their training programmes for recuits, as well as current staff, are being "refreshed" with particular emphasis being put on decision-making during pursuits using their 'TENR' framework.

Your playlist will load after this ad

It took just 76 seconds for two promising young people to become statistics in a grim tally of those killed in police pursuits. They placed their trust in a driver who put his foot down, but the police who went in chase at speeds of up to 200km/h were also found to be responsible. Source: Sunday

Police also admitted that their record-keeping and accountability around fleeing driver events was "not as robust as the accountability mechanisms employed elsewhere in the police – for example, for use of force" - and said they will be looking to redesign and update "legacy systems".

There were 4453 fleeing driver incidents across the country in the year to June 30, and of those, more than 60 per cent were abandoned by police.