Watch out!

Cops go out on limb to nab drivers
By MATT CALMAN - The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 12/05/2010

A police superintendent has said he would hide officers up trees with video cameras in a crackdown on dangerous drivers.

Police in the central districts are launching a covert operation after 22 deaths on the region's roads this year.

In the past similar operations have sparked criticism of revenue grabbing, notably after a photograph was published in The Dominion Post of an officer hiding behind a bush with a radar gun. In 2004, police bosses outlawed the practice of hiding speed cameras and officers to catch speeding drivers.

The central districts operation will target offences including careless and dangerous driving, slow driving, failing to keep left and dangerous overtaking. Officers will video motorists and phone ahead any transgressions to officers waiting further along the road.

Superintendent Russell Gibson, of Central District police, said most motorists would not be aware they had been videoed until they were stopped.

"Is it hiding? Yes, it is, and I make no apology for that. If I have to have officers hiding in trees to stop the blatant disregard for the road rules that is claiming lives almost daily, then that is what I will do."

Automobile Association spokesman Mike Noon said it applauded any police move to improve road safety but was not sure covert operations were appropriate.

"We don't think the public likes the police to be sneaky. It's not productive for the relationship between the police and motorists if they feel they're being subjected to ... entrapment in any way."

From here.