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Posted on March 26th, 2012, by

Picturesque police chase with sirens and flashing lights, which resulted in the highways and killed hundreds of people, is an extremely painful theme for many Americans. But nowadays all is going to the fact that the pressure of lawmakers will abolishes or severely limits this kind of law enforcement’. Thus, it is necessary to discuss police pursuits in the body of this paper. The main goals of this project are to make a brief discussion of police pursuits and to think about their pros and cons.

First of all it is necessary to mention that police pursuit is a possibility to stop criminals, but in many cases such police pursuits have a danger not only for policemen, but also for ordinary people who are nearby. Police pursuits occur when an offender tries to use the vehicle to escape from the law enforcement, while trying to arrest him. When the offender is aware that he was noticed by the police, he tries to escape from persecution, and uses a vehicle, sometimes driving a car at high speed.

Police pursuits have their own history and policies according this question were first implemented in the 1970’s, because of an increase in the quantity of fatalities and accidents caused by high-speed police chases.  Police pursuits have their limitations and they depend on variety of factors that would be identified by law enforcement before beginning suspect’s pursuit.

The dangers of police pursuits are well documented and according to statistical data, every year the number of officers and people killed in vehicle crashes increases. In spite of this fact, supporters of the “hot pursuit” say that a complete ban on pursuits will increase crime rates. Thus, we see that the question of police pursuits has very disputable character and there are many pros and cons from both sides. The basic dilemma associated with so popular and dangerous high-speed police pursuit lies in the area whether the benefits of potential arrest outweigh the risks of endangering police representatives, criminals in the chase and the public. Alpert stated that the issues addressed in a comprehensive National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study of police pursuit echo those discussed in research on police use of deadly force: On the one hand, too many restrictions placed on police use of pursuit could place the public at risk from dangerous individuals escaping apprehension. On the other hand, insufficient controls on police pursuit could result in needless accidents and injuries. (Alpert, 1997)

Thinking about the question should be police pursuits allowed or completely banned there is no one right opinion, because like any action police pursuit has its advantages and disadvantages. From the one side to follow after the suspect is a right and necessary action, but it is a risky and unjustified action from the other side. Kerin & Herbert demonstrated that Professor Paul Mazerolle, the director of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law and Justice at Griffith University in Queensland, says police are constantly trying to maintain a delicate balance of ensuring public safety while minimizing risk of harm to individuals. (Kerin & Herbert, 2010). Kerin & Herbert also added that There are good reasons and appropriate reasons to pursue, and there’s times when police officers shouldn’t pursue. It’s that continual reassessment. A blanket statement that police should always pursue or police should not pursue, I think, is inappropriate. (Kerin & Herbert, 2010). I completely agree with this statement, because banning police pursuits not the answer to this situation.

Discussing the cons of police pursuit we see that two-thirds of such chases initiated by the police for the primitive traffic violations. Statistics say that 40 percent of chases end in accidents, which resulted many killed and injured people. Some researchers compare police pursuits with the deadly weapon, which becomes a car, flying at a speed of 140-180 kilometers per hour. Thus, many states have taken draconian measures against the police chase, because it brings too burdensome financial compensation to victims of policemen’s action for local authorities. An alternative proposal is to provide police a large number of helicopters that are tens and hundreds times reduce the risks for people and the police.

Concerning on the pros, we can say that statistical researches pointed at the amount of criminals who were not arrested due to the absence of police pursuit and among these criminals were not only traffic violators, but also robbers and murders.

To sum up, it is necessary to conclude that police pursuits will not disappear in one day due to their dangerous nature and will not be developed due to their importance, but they should be strictly regulated. Policing experts pay their attention on two main moments that will help to change a situation: the development of technological alternatives that could help to decrease the death and losses, and the end to pursuit traffic offenses.

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