New Zealand First calls for change to police pursuits

New Zealand First is calling for a change in the way fleeing drivers are handled, in the wake of new figures that show a huge number of pursuits.

There were more than 2200 fleeing driver incidents between January and August 2019, compared to 1500 during the same period in 2016.

NZ First MP Darroch Ball told Newshub something isn't working.

"We've had more fleeing driver incidents than the entirety of 2010 and it's just been exponentially increasing over the last few years."

Ball is concerned the current way pursuits are being handled is failing to deter drivers from taking off when officers try to pull them over.

"We've got legislation that is not holding these offenders to account and we seriously have to look at whether when the police are abandoning the pursuits, that's the right call."

He's suggesting a law change and has put in a Member's Bill to add the offence of 'fleeing in a dangerous manner'.

"It fills the gap between what we've got of failure to stop right now which is only licence suspension and dangerous driving," Ball said.

"What it does is it combines the two and makes it a more aggravating and serious crime."