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

johnboy 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]
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c_c c_c 11:21 am 17 Apr 12

“The police vehicle is the most deadly weapon in the police arsenal. There have been 163 deaths on Australian roads between 1990 and 2008 which involved pursuits. By comparison, 92 people were shot and killed by police in the same period.”

Rat boy then goes on to say that police pursuits risk the lives of “…police, innocent bystanders and road users…”

And so just like Zed has been doing of late, Shane Rattenbury is engaging in another classic example of Willie Horton style politics.

He wants people to infer that 163 innocent people or people who barely did anything wrong, died from pursuits. He carefully omits the percentages on that figure, instead choosing to put it in for mere shock value.

What percentage of that 163 people were the offender, or an occupant in the offender’s vehicle?

In what percentage of the 163 deaths were the Police deemed at fault by a latter inquiry?

The only places I could find another reference to this 163 figure was on Civil Liberties Australia’s website and the Canberra Times, both citing Rattenbury, and neither elaborating on what constituted that fatality figure.

Oxspit Oxspit 11:28 am 17 Apr 12

That poll is so tenuously linked to the given proposal as to be completely pointless.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 11:31 am 17 Apr 12

“He wants people to infer that 163 innocent people or people who barely did anything wrong, died from pursuits”

Where did you get that idea from?

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

AAMC AAMC 11:48 am 17 Apr 12

Firstly I must confess that I haven’t read the full discussion paper.

But can someone explain what the Tasmanian government did to archive a more “progressive policy” that has resulted in a decrease in crimes??? And does it include legalising previously illegal activities?
Also I was under the impression that Tasmania has one of the highest road fatality rates in the country:
http://www.news.com.au/hummer-protects-against-lethal-roads/story-0-1225699587190
Could the Tasmanian statistic be a function of other factors other than that related to the chase or not chase argument, potentially a wider environmental issue??

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 11:51 am 17 Apr 12

The ACT Greens proposed to trial an updated ACT police pursuit policy to restrict chases to violent crimes only like murder, rape, tree damage, 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 shrubbery.

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, but then only in cars powered by recycled cooking fats,.

Further evidence cited showed that other jurisdictions, such as Tasmania, are using more progressive policies, such as chill out rooms, meditation, Reiki, and holistic Hopi ear candling, 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 global warming.

We proposed that if the trial was successful and crime levels remained steady or declined, the trial should be made permanent, and a tree planted for every successful non-pursuit caught violent robber who stops and recants his life of evil and meat eating.

PantsMan PantsMan 12:06 pm 17 Apr 12

Haven’t read the post, but I think there should be more Dukes of Hazzard style chases. With jumps.

Diggety Diggety 12:19 pm 17 Apr 12

Ben_Dover said :

The ACT Greens proposed to trial an updated ACT police pursuit policy to restrict chases to violent crimes only like murder, rape, tree damage, 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 shrubbery.

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, but then only in cars powered by recycled cooking fats,.

Further evidence cited showed that other jurisdictions, such as Tasmania, are using more progressive policies, such as chill out rooms, meditation, Reiki, and holistic Hopi ear candling, 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 global warming.

We proposed that if the trial was successful and crime levels remained steady or declined, the trial should be made permanent, and a tree planted for every successful non-pursuit caught violent robber who stops and recants his life of evil and meat eating.

Lol 🙂

Diggety Diggety 12:24 pm 17 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 think it is ok for people to die if they choose to put themselves in a situation where death is a likely outcome (I’m pro right-to-die).

The innocent and unsuspecting on the other hand….

p1 p1 12:30 pm 17 Apr 12

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

Why would anyone chase a police car?

I we could solve all Shane’s worries by putting all the cops on bike, since he only seems worried about. cars.

bigfeet bigfeet 12:45 pm 17 Apr 12

An ‘effective end ‘ to a police pursuit it when the criminal who attempts to flee from police wraps his vehicle around a tree/pole and only kills or injures themselves.

c_c c_c 1:10 pm 17 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?

Exactly what Diggety said is my opinion.

No one forces them to run. They make the choice to run, they pay the price.
If they choose to run most of the time for minor offences, then that only highlights their stupidity, and why no one should shed a tear when they write themselves off.

Where the problem does lie is when innocent people caught in the cross fire so to speak are injured and lose their life, however, many people die or are injured by emergency vehicles not engaged in pursuits, who are just running to a job with blue and twos on.

So Mr Rattenbury has to come clean and say just how many of those 163 are actually innocent bystanders and how many are really the tools who chose to run and in doing so, chose their fate.

Perhaps RA could send a message to his office for a clarification, or at least a source?

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 1:20 pm 17 Apr 12

I’m in two minds about it. A criminal running from the police in a motor vehicle is incredibly dangerous to themselves, to the police, and to the potentially thousands of people who may be in close vicinity to the police chase over it’s course.

On the other hand, banning police chases will open a can of worms… allowing anyone in a car to accelerate a little and force the police to give up.

If police chases are banned, then other deterants must be put in place to discourage people from trying to escape police in a motor vehicle. Such as, running from police at high speeds for a period exceeding 30 seconds = automatic 10 year driving ban and automatic compulsary prison time. Second offence, life time driving ban and prison again.

    johnboy johnboy 1:26 pm 17 Apr 12

    How do you hand the ban to the driver of a stolen car?

c_c c_c 1:26 pm 17 Apr 12

Also I do want to make clear that while I’m attacking Rat boys disingenuous manner, I am not discounting the need for improvement in the way criminals who choose to run are caught.

We’re using techniques that have advanced little since the days of bushrangers being chased though the bullock runs on horse back by colonial police. We’ve just upped the horse power. Given the technology available, there are improvements that can be made without having to let the offenders go.

kepayne kepayne 1:36 pm 17 Apr 12

Out of the ten submissions received about the proposal, six were in favour of it. Great, because what we need is every idiot who has been asked to pull over speeding away because the cops can’t chase them.

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 2:10 pm 17 Apr 12

c_c said :

Given the technology available, there are improvements that can be made without having to let the offenders go.

Care to elaborate on what these “improvements that can be made” are exactly?

c_c c_c 2:31 pm 17 Apr 12

KeenGolfer said :

c_c said :

Given the technology available, there are improvements that can be made without having to let the offenders go.

Care to elaborate on what these “improvements that can be made” are exactly?

Well at the less technical end police vehicles should be equipped to do PIT. It’s always been a saw point for Australian police because they don’t use the body on frame vehicles US forces use.

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. Has to be said though it would be safer for both Police and suspects than the use of road strips which not only place the officer in harm’s way, but also sends the vehicle out of control at speed.

Technology does exist now to tag a car with a GPS tracker fired at the escaping vehicle. That basically enables police to maintain pursuit at a distance until the vehicle stops naturally or police box them in at a predetermined point.

We also have all this surveillance around these days so over time, it should be possible to follow them using traffic cameras and other surveillance assets.

Point isn’t to just give up and let them go, it’s to catch them smarter.

Thumper Thumper 2:54 pm 17 Apr 12

Helicopter gunships.

Nothing more to say.

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 2:54 pm 17 Apr 12

c_c said :

Well at the less technical end police vehicles should be equipped to do PIT. It’s always been a saw point for Australian police because they don’t use the body on frame vehicles US forces use.

Can’t see that ever happening in Aus, the “greenies” will say it’s too dangerous.

c_c said :

Has to be said though it would be safer for both Police and suspects than the use of road strips which not only place the officer in harm’s way, but also sends the vehicle out of control at speed.

Out of control? The tyres deflate slowly and if they keep driving, they end up driving on their rims. There’s no danger to the driver, only to the officer trying to deploy them. Deploying them effectively is difficult.

c_c said :

Technology does exist now to tag a car with a GPS tracker fired at the escaping vehicle. That basically enables police to maintain pursuit at a distance until the vehicle stops naturally or police box them in at a predetermined point.

Not allowed to box in vehicles either. GPS fired tracking would be cool, but still has issues. Is there any police force anywhere actually using this technology?

c_c said :

We also have all this surveillance around these days so over time, it should be possible to follow them using traffic cameras and other surveillance assets.

Would be awesome if the govt had the budget to fund a full time chopper for pursuits, but again that will never happen.

c_c said :

Point isn’t to just give up and let them go, it’s to catch them smarter.

The thing is that’s easy to say. Show me a police force anywhere in the world that has solved this issue, I’d love to know how they do it.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 3:14 pm 17 Apr 12

c_c 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.

Maybe they should be launching blancmanges?

I think you’ve watched Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment too many times.

c_c c_c 3:27 pm 17 Apr 12

Thoroughly Smashed said :

c_c 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.

Maybe they should be launching blancmanges?

I think you’ve watched Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment too many times.

Point is even the farcical, verging on comical would make more sense than the prolonged, fuel burning exercises or dangerous, w-kyote tactics they insist on doing still. That chase in Qld last week that ended at a shopping centre reportedly went for over an hour. The longer it goes, the greater the chance for incident. The methods need to be changed to ensure either a prompt, decisive end through offensive means, or a pull back but still in control way of monitoring to bring it to an end later.

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