[[caption-width-right:300:''"[[DonutMessWithACop Suspect believed to be in possession of fresh baker's dozen, over]]."'']]

->''"All this for a loaf of bread?"''
-->-- '''Aladdin''', ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}''

Police officers will engage in high speed pursuits involving dozens of patrol cars for the flimsiest of reasons. No TV police force has a "Do not pursue" policy for minor crimes. Officers involved in the chase are usually LemmingCops and are poor drivers who crash very easily. Sometimes the police might use more advanced tactics like spike strips and roadblocks, but these rarely are successful in fiction, either against the heroes or the villains.

The name comes from an old legal principle that law enforcement from one jurisdiction [[JurisdictionFriction can work within another]] if they are in active pursuit of a fleeing suspect, and can arrest said suspect on private property without a warrant.

In RealLife, people who flee from police when facing a minor moving violation have often committed other crimes, evidence of which will be found when they are stopped. A person who flees police is likely to either be driving on a suspended license, be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, have warrants out for their arrest, or have drugs, illegal weapons, dead bodies, and/or kidnapped children in the vehicle. Thus, there is some TruthInTelevision, but not to the degree usually shown.

Subtrope of ChaseScene.

!!Examples include:


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the premiere episode of ''Anime/SonicX'', the police go to ridiculous lengths to catch Sonic for what, at most, could be construed as disrupting traffic. (Granted, he ''is'' also an alien creature unknown to our world, which would probably be a much more valid reason for chasing him, but this is not brought up.)
** And they didn't exactly treat him like one. I think one officer even made a reference to someone's kitty cat...
** And they bust out ''Formula 1 police cars''. They are the only vehicles that can even catch up to the speedster, but ''still''.
*** Parodied mercilessly in ShadyVox's abridgement of the first episode, where Sam Speed says "We're the high speed pursuit unit. Our job is to chase down anyone who commits a crime and tries to get away in an F1 racing car. And don't you dare say it doesn't happen. Because it totally does!"
* In episode 8 of ''Anime/{{K}}'', the supernatural police force Scepter 4 deploys all of its helicopters to apprehend the Silver King from his airship. Doumyouji, a member of the top squad, remarks that it seems like a lot. It's [[JustifiedTrope justified]], though - the Silver King is the most powerful of the seven Kings in that system, and he's been acting [[OutOfCharacterAlert peculiar recently]]... since the night of the incident they're investigating, actually.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* Non-automobile variation in ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'': the guards chasing after the titular hero for stealing a loaf of bread.
** The titular character lampshades it in the comment at the top of the page
*** Which is of course a [[ShoutOut reference]] to ''Literature/LesMiserables'', where Jean Valjean's lifelong chase with InspectorJavert begins with the theft of a loaf of bread.
*** Shouted out in TheAnimatedSeries when a thief is being pursued by both the guards and Aladdin himself. The scene is an almost shot-for-shot remake of the one from the movie (before the singing), only the thief in question is nowhere near as good as Aladdin is, and stole a huge diamond ("All this for a diamond?").
** Subverted in that stealing an apple is punishable by instant removal of a hand.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Parodied in the extreme in ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'':
** Running a red light is the catalyst for the titular Brothers to be chased down by every law enforcement agency in Illinois, up to and including the National Guard. They're also chased by [[ThoseWackyNazis Illinois Nazis]] and a renegade country band, but for different reasons.
** The really serious high speed pursuit comes after their initial attempt to escape from the police gets out of hand and they cause serious property damage. It's still an example of a case where the cops would be smarter to apply a "do not pursue" policy, but the initial red light is only the start of their problems.
*** Quite the opposite of "do not pursue", at one point early in the climactic chase a police dispatcher calmly radios to all concerned that "the use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the Blues Brothers has been approved."
* Parodied again in ''{{Film/Taxi}} 2''. Insults about sexual tastes directed to some cops cause Paris' entire police force to chase down the main characters throughout the city (with predictably destructive results).
* Seen in the ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'' movies which are actually made of little less than long pursuits.
* OlderThanTelevision: Any number of old Creator/CharlieChaplin shorts. The unfortunate tramp had a way of getting into trouble with the police over minor things, usually resulting in a hilarious chase scene.
* ''Film/TheChase'' is basically made of one long Hot Pursuit with half a dozen police cruisers always keeping the same distance to the getaway car.
* The ''Der Clown'' movie ''Payday'' contains five [[ChaseScene chase scenes]], only one of which does not involve police cars, one of which leads to the spectacular destruction of more than one dozen police cars in SloMoBigAir, and one of which has SWAT cars chase an aircraft on a runway.

* P.F. Chisholm's "Robert Carey" series of historical novels are set in the late 1500's, on what was then the disputed border between the kingdoms of England and Scotland. The titular Sir Robert Carey (commander of the English border guards), in ''A Surfeit of Guns'', is patrolling the border one night near Carlisle and intercepts a fugitive crossing from the Scottish side. A short time after, his patrol halts a Scottish incursion of armed men, who turn out to be on the King of Scotland's lawful business, allowing them by ancient right to cross into England in hot pursuit of one escaping from justice. Recognising they have the right, Carey releases the fugitive to them, despite his pleas for mercy. [[note]]His interest is aroused by the fugitive's account of ''why'' he is being chased, and he then investigates unofficially[[/note]]
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, policeman Sam Vimes exploits this age-old right of "hot trod" twice.
** In ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', he technically leads a pursuit across national borders in hot trod against the mad werewolf Wolfgang von Überwald - the local police recognise he has the right and stands back.
** In ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'', he claims the same right to investigate crime in the disputed Shires region; technically speaking, the Watch even pursue the criminals into Quirm and faraway Howondaland to make arrests.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Roscoe P. Coltrane from ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'' would gleefully shout over his CB that he was in "Hot Puuuur-Suit!" of the Duke boys, frequently followed by him driving [[LemmingCops off a cliff]] or into a lake when he couldn't match the Duke's driving ability.
* ''Series/DueSouth'' featured a car chase in the episode ''Heaven And Earth'', notable for having highly competent driving on the part of all of the cops involved, along with a [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome bitchin awesome accompanying song.]]
** And how did the chase start? An All Points Bulletin got put out with a [[SuspectIsHatless vague discription]] of the suspect being in a particular area. Two cops saw a guy walking down the street looking shifty, and tapped the siren to get his attention. Guy takes off running, and the cops take off driving ''backwards'' after him, before pulling a hairpin turn to get going the right direction.
* Pretty much OnceAnEpisode in ''Series/{{CHiPs}}''.

* ''Pinball/HighSpeed'' has police car 504 give chase to the player for running a red light. Interesting to note the game was based on a RealLife incident involving its designer, Creator/SteveRitchie, when he was pulled over for driving through California's Interstate 5 at 146 mph.
** ''Pinball/TheGetawayHighSpeed2'' does this as well, to the dismay of Car 504.
* ''Pinball/RedAndTedsRoadShow'' has a police chase when you get to Ohio, with Car 504 as a {{Cameo}}.
* "Police Car Frenzy" in ''[[VideoGame/ProPinballBigRaceUSA Pro Pinball: Big Race USA]]''.
* The VideoMode in ''Pinball/JudgeDredd'' has the player (as the futuristic cop Dredd) firing missiles at an escaping car.
* One of the rescue missions in Creator/{{Gottlieb}}'s ''[[Pinball/{{Rescue911}} Rescue 911]]'' is "Hostage", which involves a police chase.
* Car Chase mode in ''Pinball/DemolitionMan,'' which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* The "Police Pursuit" mode in Creator/SternPinball's ''[[Pinball/MustangStern Mustang]]''.
* This is what Couch Multiball is in ''Pinball/TheSimpsonsPinballParty'', when the entire Springfield Police force chasing the Simpson Family for hoarding pinballs.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Video game example: In both the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' and ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'' series, the police will chase you after a simple fender bender. If the chase goes on long enough (and enough officers [[LemmingCops get killed trying to chase you]]), SWAT teams, helicopters, soldiers and eventually tanks will be called in to take you down. Though to be fair, after the player has killed multiple police officers and racked up thousands of dollars in property damage, they have some valid reasons to call in the tanks and jets.
** To be unfair (Ha!), the police will up your wanted level when they kill ''themselves'' in pursuit of you -- apparently the GTA universe has some ''harsh'' felony murder laws. And of course the cops have absolutely no regard for innocent bystanders. Tanks, helicopters, troop trucks and jet fighters in the middle of an urban area - "Well, he dinged my fender!"
*** Even more amusing, they only chase you if you ding a cop car. You can plow into a civilian car at top speed and leave a huge dent in it, and the cops won't care. So much as tap a cop car though... In ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas San Andreas]]'', they will pursue other civilians that hit their cars (opening up the [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential hilarious potential to shunt other cars into the cops]], only to watch ''them'' get busted when they roll dazed from the wreckage).
* ''VideoGame/TheGetaway'' managed to sort of justify it; occasionally you'll hear [[EnemyChatter someone on a police radio]] mention that they've recognised the player character, who became wanted for murdering his wife (which he didn't actually do) in the opening cutscene and has been roaming the streets of London single-handedly causing enough mayhem to rival the 2011 riots.
* The ''GTA'' cops are lenient compared to those in ''VideoGame/{{Driver}}'', who will pursue you to the end for traffic offenses that ''GTA''[='=]s police will ignore. ''Driver'' cops have even been known to go after the player when ''another'' car breaks the law.
* ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' is the most obvious example in all video games, with a sub-series of ''NFS'' games called ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hot Pursuit]]'' that allows players to play on either side of the law. Those games (especially ''Hot Pursuit'' 2010 and ''Rivals'') also give those vehicles a lot of weapons to work with; roadblocks, spike strips, helicopters, [=EMPs=], jammers, nitrous, etc.
* Another non-car incident occurs towards the latter third of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI''. Granted, at this point your character has killed half a dozen important members of society and countless soldiers and guards and they're on the lookout for funny behavior in a white hood, but even so much as knocking someone over or climbing a wall will cause Altair to have half the city watch chasing him. Even before that point, the guards will attack him for the crime of taking his horse above a walk (When did speed limits get imposed in the 12th Century?)
* ''VideoGame/RoadRash 64'' has cops going hog-wild all over the game world's island simply for a motorcycle race. If the ending animation is done just right, cop cars will slam into the drivers, sending them flying. Murder for speed.
** An important note is that they will chase you whether you're breaking laws or not. You can adhere to the speed limit and stop at every red light, and they will still go after you.
* Occurs during the "Sk8r Boi" level of ''VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents'', where the Agents are assisting a cabbie who DrivesLikeCrazy. [[spoiler:If you pass the third segment, the cops, informed that Jack's passenger is a woman in labor, subvert this by giving up the pursuit and escorting you, as they would in real life.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/TheHire'': This happens to the Driver when he goes tearing across town in his [[ProductPlacement BMW sports car]], trying to find a woman locked in the trunk of a car before high tide comes in. The cops don't know he's on a rescue mission, and instead assume that he has stolen the car. Needless to say, they are [[BadassDriver nowhere near his level]] and don't appear to cause any significant delay to his rescue.


''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F16OciDmQ7g Well hey, hey, Mister Policeman! Bet I can drive faster'n you can!]]''