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Greens call for an effective end to police pursuits [With poll]

By 17 April 2012 96

police pursuits

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury has announced the release of a discussion paper on police car chases.

Shane’s release tends to shy away from what he’s actually proposing but the discussion paper is reasonably direct:

The ACT Greens proposed to trial an updated ACT police pursuit policy to restrict chases to violent crimes only like murder, rape and armed robbery.

This discussion paper set out evidence that most chases currently are for traffic infringements or suspicion of car theft, and also that a chase poses risks to police and innocent bystanders.

Based on this evidence, we believed a better balance can be struck by only permitting chases to take place for serious violent crimes that warrant the risk.

Further evidence cited showed that other jurisdictions, such as Tasmania, are using more progressive policies and have experienced decreases in crimes. This is contrary to the often stated view that amending our police chase policy will result in an explosion in crime.

We proposed that if the trial was successful and crime levels remained steady or declined, the trial should be made permanent.

So what do you think?

When people run from police

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UPDATE 17/04/12 16:40: The Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson is not at all impressed.

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96 Responses to Greens call for an effective end to police pursuits [With poll]
#31
Tooks5:35 pm, 17 Apr 12

c_c said :

Tooks said :

That chase that ended with no one hurt and the offenders apprehended? IIRC they terminated that pursuit when it became dangerous and allowed the helicopter (ie.pulling back and monitoring from a distance) to guide the cops on the road to the mall, where they arrested the offenders.

Did you even bother to read what happened?

There were two vehicles being chased.
The Police did not terminate the pursuit, the continued it, deploying spikes to stop the coupe while chasing the other into a shopping centre carpark.
The Police did not deploy a helicopter, instead they relied on incidental reports coming through from media choppers (about three of them) already in the air right over the vehicle which showed the cars speeding through streets even with police a little way back.

The final vehicle load of offenders was only apprehended after SERT and Dog squad were sent into a busy shopping centre which had to be evacuated and locked down.

All this took 2 hours.

It lasted for a long time, went into busy areas, all the while decreasing the margin for error.

No I didn’t read what happened – that’s what I heard on the initial news reports (they said police terminated then re-engaged. We all know how reliable the media are, don’t we?). They caught the offenders and recovered the vehicles. So what point are you trying to make? How would you have dealt with this situation if you were in charge?

It lasted 2 hours. So what? It takes as long as it takes. The pursuit – like all pursuits in this country – was constantly being risk-managed throughout.

Personally, I wouldn’t care if they terminated the pursuit in the first 30 seconds and let the crooks get away and torch the cars. QPol chose option B, which proved to be a success.

#32
Woody Mann-Caruso5:46 pm, 17 Apr 12

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

You vote. That’s what keeps me up at night. Not car chases. That people like you – people who say sh*t like this – actually get a say in how things are run.

#33
johnboy5:53 pm, 17 Apr 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

You vote. That’s what keeps me up at night. Not car chases. That people like you – people who say sh*t like this – actually get a say in how things are run.

True.

A pistol shot through a car to disable the engine (at the front) of a fleeing car (by definition viewed from the rear) does seem unlikely to be achieved with any regularity.

I understand in afghanistan .50 cal sniping rounds to the engine block were preferred to air strikes, but I don’t think the people of canberra are quite ready for that sort of calculus.

#34
p16:03 pm, 17 Apr 12

I large calibre round to the engine block is the only real militarily appropriate method of stopping a vehicle with any real chance of the occupants surviving. If survival of the occupants is not a consideration, an air strike makes much more sense.

#35
Diggety6:03 pm, 17 Apr 12

Yep, .50 cal rifle would be a far better choice.

#36
Thumper6:13 pm, 17 Apr 12

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

I’m just unsure how you have a dessert eagle?

With ice cream and strawberries? Maybe with chocolate sauce?

#37
I-filed6:18 pm, 17 Apr 12

In the same vein as the fact that research found that most people who use disabled parking spaces illegally have had dealings with the police (don’t ask me for the reference; noticed in passing ages ago), people who speed away from the police rather than stop do so for a – usually nefarious – reason. So if a driver speeds away following a “mere” traffic infringement, and is chased, chances are that Plod will find drugs in the car, a warrant out, or some other travesty. So yes, they should chase.

#38
c_c6:49 pm, 17 Apr 12

Tooks said :

No I didn’t read what happened – that’s what I heard on the initial news reports (they said police terminated then re-engaged. We all know how reliable the media are, don’t we?). They caught the offenders and recovered the vehicles. So what point are you trying to make? How would you have dealt with this situation if you were in charge?

It lasted 2 hours. So what? It takes as long as it takes. The pursuit – like all pursuits in this country – was constantly being risk-managed throughout.

So you admit the media is unreliable, but choose to contribute based on breaking initial reports rather than retrospectives written with the clarity of hindsight. Bloody genius… not.

As for the significance of lasting 2 hours, can you really not see why that’s important?

The longer a pursuit continues, the more distance is covered, the more people the pursuit comes into contact with. The more people it comes into contact with, the more chance of an accident occurring with an innocent bystander.

johnboy said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

You vote. That’s what keeps me up at night. Not car chases. That people like you – people who say sh*t like this – actually get a say in how things are run.

True.

A pistol shot through a car to disable the engine (at the front) of a fleeing car (by definition viewed from the rear) does seem unlikely to be achieved with any regularity.

I understand in afghanistan .50 cal sniping rounds to the engine block were preferred to air strikes, but I don’t think the people of canberra are quite ready for that sort of calculus.

Using a .50cal round is a common and preferred method for stopping vehicles in Afghanistan and other areas.

The AFP has a full time tactical capability and it is standard practice for the SRS to be deployed for car pursuits.

Train them up on the use of .50cal, place them at a point ahead of the vehicle as you would an officer to deploy spikes.

Take out the engine.

It disables the vehicle without putting police in harms way or causing a loss of traction that could send the vehicle out of control.

I think given that the government has just invested almost half a million in an armoured vehicle that is designed to repel the same weapons soldiers face in Afghanistan, developing such a capability for the AFP wouldn’t be a silly idea. There’s a lot more chance of that been useful than a giant truck that can take dozens of AK-47 rounds (as the Bearcat famously sustained in the US one time).

#39
buzz8197:00 pm, 17 Apr 12

c_c said :

Tooks said :

No I didn’t read what happened – that’s what I heard on the initial news reports (they said police terminated then re-engaged. We all know how reliable the media are, don’t we?). They caught the offenders and recovered the vehicles. So what point are you trying to make? How would you have dealt with this situation if you were in charge?

It lasted 2 hours. So what? It takes as long as it takes. The pursuit – like all pursuits in this country – was constantly being risk-managed throughout.

So you admit the media is unreliable, but choose to contribute based on breaking initial reports rather than retrospectives written with the clarity of hindsight. Bloody genius… not.

As for the significance of lasting 2 hours, can you really not see why that’s important?

The longer a pursuit continues, the more distance is covered, the more people the pursuit comes into contact with. The more people it comes into contact with, the more chance of an accident occurring with an innocent bystander.

johnboy said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

You vote. That’s what keeps me up at night. Not car chases. That people like you – people who say sh*t like this – actually get a say in how things are run.

True.

A pistol shot through a car to disable the engine (at the front) of a fleeing car (by definition viewed from the rear) does seem unlikely to be achieved with any regularity.

I understand in afghanistan .50 cal sniping rounds to the engine block were preferred to air strikes, but I don’t think the people of canberra are quite ready for that sort of calculus.

Using a .50cal round is a common and preferred method for stopping vehicles in Afghanistan and other areas.

The AFP has a full time tactical capability and it is standard practice for the SRS to be deployed for car pursuits.

Train them up on the use of .50cal, place them at a point ahead of the vehicle as you would an officer to deploy spikes.

Take out the engine.

It disables the vehicle without putting police in harms way or causing a loss of traction that could send the vehicle out of control.

I think given that the government has just invested almost half a million in an armoured vehicle that is designed to repel the same weapons soldiers face in Afghanistan, developing such a capability for the AFP wouldn’t be a silly idea. There’s a lot more chance of that been useful than a giant truck that can take dozens of AK-47 rounds (as the Bearcat famously sustained in the US one time).

Standard practice for SRS to be deployed with a pursuit? Really? Have you told the AFP this, they would love to know that is what they are supposed to do.

#40
JessP7:17 pm, 17 Apr 12

I dont get it.

Even if a chase is terminated what is to stop a scumbag driving the other vehicle from having an accident with an innocent party? Does the police NOT chasing scumbags stop them from being lunatics in cars borrowed from other people? If the police is not going to chase them what is going to stop them….lets face it it is all the more reason for them to drive dangerously …because they will get away with it.

#41
milkman7:20 pm, 17 Apr 12

Thumper said :

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

I’m just unsure how you have a dessert eagle?

With ice cream and strawberries? Maybe with chocolate sauce?

You, sir, are officially AWESOME.

#42
keepitup7:26 pm, 17 Apr 12

Thumper said :

Helicopter gunships.

Nothing more to say.

I was thinking A-10 Warthog.

#43
c_c7:35 pm, 17 Apr 12

buzz819 said :

Standard practice for SRS to be deployed with a pursuit? Really? Have you told the AFP this, they would love to know that is what they are supposed to do.

Serious or prolonged pursuits then, as distinct from every chase to be more specific.

Off the top of my head, they were part of the chase convoy behind the car that was rammed in Manuka by a member of the public. They were deployed to apprehend Massey in Narrabundah not long ago. They were deployed to the young teens being pursued who were caught in Fadden one night.

In fact in the latter two cases, it was SRS that actually caught them, not the general duties officers who started the pursuit. In the last example, spike strips were used but they fleed anyway.

#44
HenryBG7:37 pm, 17 Apr 12

p1 said :

I large calibre round to the engine block is the only real militarily appropriate method of stopping a vehicle with any real chance of the occupants surviving. If survival of the occupants is not a consideration, an air strike makes much more sense.

Let’s go the airstrike option then.

After all, with 25% of crimes in this town being committed by members of just 12 families, it will only take a few airstrikes to make dramatic inroads into crimes rates in this city.

#45
HenryBG7:39 pm, 17 Apr 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

You vote. That’s what keeps me up at night. Not car chases. That people like you – people who say sh*t like this – actually get a say in how things are run.

What keeps me up at night is the realisation that people like *you* get to vote – people who believe government should bend over backwards to ensure that criminals can roam our streets with minimal interference from the law.

Car thieves kill people. They should be shot on sight. They are worthless scum society can well do without.

#46
Woody Mann-Caruso7:45 pm, 17 Apr 12

What keeps me up at night is the realisation that people like *you* get to vote – people who believe government should bend over backwards to ensure that criminals can roam our streets with minimal interference from the law.

I don’t believe that, and I didn’t say it. I guess I can add ‘can’t read, makes stupid assumptions’ to ‘can’t spell ‘desert” and ‘believes you can shoot at the engine block of a car driving away from you’.

#47
HenryBG7:54 pm, 17 Apr 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

What keeps me up at night is the realisation that people like *you* get to vote – people who believe government should bend over backwards to ensure that criminals can roam our streets with minimal interference from the law.

I don’t believe that, and I didn’t say it. I guess I can add ‘can’t read, makes stupid assumptions’ to ‘can’t spell ‘desert” and ‘believes you can shoot at the engine block of a car driving away from you’.

Sure you can shoot at the engine block of a car driving away from you. You just need to choose an appropriate calibre.
Correct selection will result in a win/win situation.

Anyway, the Greens rankly idiotic fringe approach to these sorts of issues explains why they struggle to win the support of more than about 1 in 6 of their fellow citizens. And it will not get any better with Bob Brown gone, quite the opposite.

#48
buzz8198:10 pm, 17 Apr 12

c_c said :

buzz819 said :

Standard practice for SRS to be deployed with a pursuit? Really? Have you told the AFP this, they would love to know that is what they are supposed to do.

Serious or prolonged pursuits then, as distinct from every chase to be more specific.

Off the top of my head, they were part of the chase convoy behind the car that was rammed in Manuka by a member of the public. They were deployed to apprehend Massey in Narrabundah not long ago. They were deployed to the young teens being pursued who were caught in Fadden one night.

In fact in the latter two cases, it was SRS that actually caught them, not the general duties officers who started the pursuit. In the last example, spike strips were used but they fleed anyway.

So they attended some, that means it is standard practice. Fair enough, I will make sure all operating procedures are updated to allow for this. 3 or 4 times in many hundreds is now standard operating procedures. Copy.

#49
c_c8:40 pm, 17 Apr 12

buzz819 said :

So they attended some, that means it is standard practice. Fair enough, I will make sure all operating procedures are updated to allow for this.

lol, I absolutely knew you were illiterate but thought I would wait for you to confirm it yourself.

“Standard practice” is not “standard procedure.”

They mean different things – I never said procedure because it isn’t.

In practice though it has become standard for the SRS to attend prolonged/serious pursuits. Not surprising, they’re sitting around waiting for something to do. Doesn’t mean they get into all the black get up or anything, nor does it mean they go to all of them.

#50
Woody Mann-Caruso8:46 pm, 17 Apr 12

Sure you can shoot at the engine block of a car driving away from you. You just need to choose an appropriate calibre.

I’m sorry. I thought this was The RiotACT, but I seem to have stumbled into a Grand Theft Auto forum populated by 12-year-old kids having wet dreams about shooting cars with ‘Dessert Eagles’. Presumably you have one in each hand, and you’re holding them sideways.

#51
gazket9:58 pm, 17 Apr 12

Shane Rattenbury should be doing more important things like saving street cats from being tipped into garbage trucks.

The Greens They really do live in la la land

#52
p110:34 pm, 17 Apr 12

c_c said :

It disables the vehicle without putting police in harms way or causing a loss of traction that could send the vehicle out of control.

Ever been in a car where the engine suddenly, and spectacularly ceases to turn? The driving wheels immediately lock, while at the same time you loose power assisted brakes and steering.

#53
c_c11:11 pm, 17 Apr 12

p1 said :

Ever been in a car where the engine suddenly, and spectacularly ceases to turn? The driving wheels immediately lock, while at the same time you loose power assisted brakes and steering.

I have as a matter of fact, a 1988 sedan with EFI but no power steering. Control was not impaired despite the engine being totally dead in the middle of going around a round about.

More modern cars may be tougher to steer as electronic aids will be offline, but steering and brakes are not lost, they just become heavier by a small margin.

#54
Pork Hunt11:35 pm, 17 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

You vote. That’s what keeps me up at night. Not car chases. That people like you – people who say sh*t like this – actually get a say in how things are run.

What keeps me up at night is the realisation that people like *you* get to vote – people who believe government should bend over backwards to ensure that criminals can roam our streets with minimal interference from the law.

Car thieves kill people. They should be shot on sight. They are worthless scum society can well do without.

Jesus, Henry. I agree with you!

#55
Darkfalz2:17 am, 18 Apr 12

Jim Jones said :

Do you actually think it’s okay if people die unnecessarily, just so long as they’re ‘criminals’ of some sort?

I do. For me, the death of a person involved in a criminal act is less tragic than a completely innocent person having their wallet or purse stolen. Zero tolerance. Our revolving door legal system makes victims of us all.

#56
IrishPete5:16 am, 18 Apr 12

Can those of you who think police should chase anybody, please define the crimes you think justify car chases? Failing to lodge a tax return? Centrelink fraud? Parking in a disabled spot? Not wearing a helmet on a bicycle? Or is it just stuff other people do? I’m going to cop flak for this, but actually if you ask different people you do NOT get the same answer. Everyone’s cut-off is different.

What the Greens are trying to do is ensure that the police response is proportionate. If a driver is drunk or high, as often seems to be the case, chasing them to get them to stop driving because they’re a danger on the road, is like fighting for peace. It’s just stupid. You’re increasing the risk if you pursue an impaired driver, provoking them to drive faster, and they’re also not behaving rationally so don’t expect them to be making good assessments of risk.

Those of you saying that the police often find other things after stopping them need to realise that while criticising the Greens’ statistics for not being detailed enough, you are presenting your own claimed statistics also without evidence. Just cos the police say it, doesn’t make it true. If police just stopped and searched cars randomly, how much drugs, weapons etc would they find? How many serious crimes are prevented or detected by chases? Simple question, and if it’s a large number the police will soon release the statistics to the public.

If in 2012 the only way to apprehend a fleeing suspect is to chase them in a powerful car, that’s a powerful indictment of how primitive some our public services still are. If no police service around the world has solved this problem, maybe it says more about the police than it does about the problem.

Personally, I think a police helicopter which could be used for this and other duties (e.g. non-urgent traffic detection) would probably be a good investment, quite possible a cost-effective one in terms of lives saved and offenders apprehended. How much does a small chopper cost to run per year (but I know they’ll want a Rolls Royce, not a small one)? Surely the speed and red light cameras could pay for it, and when they stop clicking and flashing, then maybe it isnt needed any more.

IP

#57
wildturkeycanoe5:20 am, 18 Apr 12

Without stopping an offender and making inquiries, how do the police know what crime the fleeing vehicle has done?
As for the supporters of gunship style tactics, where does the projectile go when it misses the engine block and flies over the bonnet, the pre-school in the background, the man watering his front lawn? A vehicle is a little less likely to take out a bystander as it can be redirected if it overshoots its target. Also, if I was being chased by a car, I’d be a little more willing to pull over if the officer wasn’t peppering my rear window with bullet holes.

#58
Tooks9:10 am, 18 Apr 12

c_c said :

Tooks said :

No I didn’t read what happened – that’s what I heard on the initial news reports (they said police terminated then re-engaged. We all know how reliable the media are, don’t we?). They caught the offenders and recovered the vehicles. So what point are you trying to make? How would you have dealt with this situation if you were in charge?

It lasted 2 hours. So what? It takes as long as it takes. The pursuit – like all pursuits in this country – was constantly being risk-managed throughout.

So you admit the media is unreliable, but choose to contribute based on breaking initial reports rather than retrospectives written with the clarity of hindsight. Bloody genius… not.

As for the significance of lasting 2 hours, can you really not see why that’s important?

The longer a pursuit continues, the more distance is covered, the more people the pursuit comes into contact with. The more people it comes into contact with, the more chance of an accident occurring with an innocent bystander.

johnboy said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I could also suggest a well placed shot from a Dessert Eagle into the engine block of a fleeing car but that’s probably far fetched.

You vote. That’s what keeps me up at night. Not car chases. That people like you – people who say sh*t like this – actually get a say in how things are run.

True.

A pistol shot through a car to disable the engine (at the front) of a fleeing car (by definition viewed from the rear) does seem unlikely to be achieved with any regularity.

I understand in afghanistan .50 cal sniping rounds to the engine block were preferred to air strikes, but I don’t think the people of canberra are quite ready for that sort of calculus.

Using a .50cal round is a common and preferred method for stopping vehicles in Afghanistan and other areas.

The AFP has a full time tactical capability and it is standard practice for the SRS to be deployed for car pursuits.

Train them up on the use of .50cal, place them at a point ahead of the vehicle as you would an officer to deploy spikes.

Take out the engine.

It disables the vehicle without putting police in harms way or causing a loss of traction that could send the vehicle out of control.

I think given that the government has just invested almost half a million in an armoured vehicle that is designed to repel the same weapons soldiers face in Afghanistan, developing such a capability for the AFP wouldn’t be a silly idea. There’s a lot more chance of that been useful than a giant truck that can take dozens of AK-47 rounds (as the Bearcat famously sustained in the US one time).

You have proven to be absolutely clueless when it comes to law enforcement. You’ve been asked several times for your solution on how to make these pursuits safer and you’ve ignored them all. You were asked specifically how you would’ve managed the Brisbane pursuit better and you offered nothing.

You are clueless enough to join the Greens.

#59
Tooks9:17 am, 18 Apr 12

c_c said :

buzz819 said :

So they attended some, that means it is standard practice. Fair enough, I will make sure all operating procedures are updated to allow for this.

lol, I absolutely knew you were illiterate but thought I would wait for you to confirm it yourself.

“Standard practice” is not “standard procedure.”

They mean different things – I never said procedure because it isn’t.

In practice though it has become standard for the SRS to attend prolonged/serious pursuits. Not surprising, they’re sitting around waiting for something to do. Doesn’t mean they get into all the black get up or anything, nor does it mean they go to all of them.

Once again, playing the man and not the ball. By the way, what’s a ‘serious’ pursuit? I thought they were all serious.

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. It’s not standard practice. Out of the 50-70+ police pursuits in Canberra each year, very few would involve SRS. The only time they become involved is when they are already on duty and in a position to do so. Even then, they would never chase a vehicle.

Your ignorance on this topic is embarrassing.

#60
c_c9:49 am, 18 Apr 12

Tooks said :

Once again, playing the man and not the ball. By the way, what’s a ‘serious’ pursuit? I thought they were all serious.

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. It’s not standard practice. Out of the 50-70+ police pursuits in Canberra each year, very few would involve SRS. The only time they become involved is when they are already on duty and in a position to do so. Even then, they would never chase a vehicle.

Your ignorance on this topic is embarrassing.

That’s rich.

Let’s all remember what Tooks said in February regarding a police pursuit: http://the-riotact.com/wanniassa-stolen-car/65412

User “awj” commented:

“While its all well and good to state it only reached 110 in an 80 zone, it was still very dangerous.
80+km per hour down a busy hospital road. I think the limit is 40km was extremely dangerous.
Very lucky nobody pedestrians were hit crossing hospital road.”

To which “Tooks” so insightfully replied with this reasoned comment:

“So presumably the answer is to let him get away. Wonder if you’d feel differently if it was your vehicle.”

Attacking someone for suggesting it was dangerous to maintain a high speed pursuit through an area of high pedestrian activity signposted at 40.

I particular like this silly comment at the end about “your vehicle” because of course no one else’s life matters if your car is stolen and you want it back.

Grow up.

To repeat, Police need to use technology and tactics to catch these people in a smarter way rather than in prolonged engagements of escalating risk where offenders push the boundaries until Police are forced to give up, either by:

a) ending the chase faster and more decisively (through use of the PIT or disabling the vehicle) and/or

b) deescalating pursuits while maintaining surveillance to allow apprehension (GPS tagging which companies in the US are now offering, use of traffic cameras).

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