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Guidelines followed in Clea Rose death – everything cool?

By johnboy - 28 March 2006 42

The ABC is reporting that the Liberal’s Steve Pratt has seen the findings of an internal police report on the role of officers in the death of Canberra student Clea Rose.

It says the officers chasing the car which hit the 21-year-old, acted in accordance with national pursuit guidelines.

Anyone think this level of disclosure is satisfactory?

UPDATED: The ABC reports that the ombudsman thinks an inquest is the only way to address any further public concerns about this matter.

FURTHER UPDATED: The Canberra Times is joined in with complaints by “Civil Liberties Australia ACT” (an arsefull piece of re-branding if ever there were) that Minister Hargreaves has broken his promises to them in this matter.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The ABC are saying the report has been released, and yet no report is on the ACT Policing website, so is this just media manipulation?

MORE UPDATES: The Canberra Times is going in hard with two stories. The first with the accusatory line “but they have refused to admit any responsibility for her death”, and another Jack Waterford rocket: Memorial to Clea should be review of pursuit policy.

Also in the Waterford piece:

The police made something of the fact that the inquiry was an entirely independent review, being conducted by the national AFP’s professional reporting standards unit. In fact the PRS subcontracted out the entire job to the ACT Policing collision investigation team – a section of the ACT traffic branch hardly at arm’s length from local vehicle patrolling.

(Also front page browsers would be well advised to take in the comments attached to this item as there are some excellent and lengthy contributions)

One More Update For The Road: The Canberra Times have got a usefull page with the reports they’ve been given as well as the video evidence.

No, I lied, here’s another update: The Canberra Times has also got John Hargreaves suggesting the guidelines on pursuit need reviewing and strong hints that there will be a coronial inquest.

What’s Your opinion?

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42 Responses to
Guidelines followed in Clea Rose death – everything cool?
vg 1:05 pm 28 Mar 06

“I have had other experiences where police basically couldn’t be bothered chasing kids down, as well, so I am not convinced they do all they can”

With the resources they have…………I am!

VYBerlinaV8 12:49 pm 28 Mar 06

That’s a fair enough comment about the courts. I can’t help but feel police are also involved, though, when there are teenagers running around Canberra committing crimes at known regular times and the police don’t show up. A family member lives in a street where their back fence is graffitied every Friday night – police can’t catch them. I have had other experiences where police basically couldn’t be bothered chasing kids down, as well, so I am not convinced they do all they can.

I know this is a complex problem, and that the police aren’t the only ones who have responsibility for this. It needs a concerted effort by parents, police, courts, and the community. Any ideas welcome!

johnboy 12:37 pm 28 Mar 06

I was going to say VY, the courts, not the police, are the ones you need to address that complaint to.

I would imagine that if the courts got serious about misdemeanours the police might be willing and able to put more effort into these areas themselves.

vg 12:34 pm 28 Mar 06

Police do ‘chase people down’ and do ‘charge minors’ when caught doing something illegal. All 3 kids involved in the Clea incident had criminal records, that was well reported.

‘Boundaries’ mean bugger all when there is no effective parenting. Having ‘fear for the law’ is all about its application. If kids know nothing will happen to them once caught then that is not the fault of the Police. That lays with the judiciary.

No-one advocates ‘fear’ for the law, just repecting it will do. Going to Court in the ACT is not that scary. have been doing it for nearly 17 years

VYBerlinaV8 12:29 pm 28 Mar 06

There are a range of tactics Police can use to ‘scare the kids’. One is to chase kids down and catch them when they are breaking the law, thus developing a reputation which says “if you don’t stop running/cycling/driving we WILL catch you”. Another is to actually charge minors when they are caught doing something illegal – going to court is in fact quite scary!

The problem is not about committing violence against people, but about sending the message that breaking the law has consequences. At the moment there are many kids who just don’t believe that anything will happen if they do the wrong thing. The don’t fear the law, or its consequences. Having worked with teenage kids in the past, they need boundaries, and the law is a critical part of that.

LurkerGal 11:49 am 28 Mar 06

AD: Agreed completely.
VG: I don’t have a problem with phone books and rubber hoses. Don’t know how you guys hold yourselves back from doing that sometimes!

Absent Diane 11:38 am 28 Mar 06

No amount of policing can make up for ineffective parenting

vg 10:50 am 28 Mar 06

And I would ask VYBerlina what tactics he thinks Police should employ to ‘scare the kids’. The Police can do nothing more ‘scary’ than lock people up. It is up to someone else to do something after that, not the cops.

Maybe you are advocating phone books and rubber hoses? That rubbish went out in the 60s

vg 10:47 am 28 Mar 06

This whole thing is a tragedy, for no people more so than Clea’s family, but some people need to lose the histrionics about all of this.

No one has said the report will not be publicly released at any stage. Once legal issues are worked out it may well be released but, as is common with all internal investigations, they are not public matters. A Coroners inquest is of course public but sorry, that opposite has always been the case for Police internal investigations.

While some may find that uncomfortable the system has been that way since the internal investigative mechanism for the AFP was created in 1979.

Clea’s family has been given a copy of the report, which is the most important issue of all. Having said that witnesses are well within their rights (and lets not forget there were about 40 or so civilian witnesses who stood by the actions of the Police) to object in this instance to the release of the report where they may be identified etc etc.

Ultimately the circle of accountability will work. If the Coroner is not satisfied with what he sees he can call for an inquest. To be honest from what I know about the matter that won’t happen.

I fell terribly for the family of Clea as they look to somehow be able to blame someone for what happened to their daughter. That amount of angst most of us will never be able to comprehend.

But with all said I will say this. When this whole thing started the offenders vehicle was on London Circuit. As they approached the bus interchange area they had a choice. They could turn into a packed interchange on a busy evening, or they could continue to the lights on Northbourne and try a left or a right turn. They chose the course of action they took, not the Police.

It should also be clear that even though the Police inititated some sort of chase, once the offender had turned into the interchange the Police vehicle had slowed to a pace commensurate with the conditions and in fact were such a distance behicnd the offender that they were not even aware Clea had been struck.

And the final straw to break the camel’s back in this whole tragic affair. A magistrate puts the sentencing of the offending driver up to the Supreme Court, as the maximum sentence he can impose is 2 years and what does the Supreme Court give the turd…..18 months. He could have gotten worse in the Mags Court.

Progressively all those who wallowed and wailed about the actions of the Police are being silenced as the actual events of that tragic evening come out. I can guarantee that the cops involved aren’t overjoyed with what they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. Even though their actions were cleared human nature would leave them feeling some sort of blame.

That, of course, is nothing compared to Clea’s family but it really time for irrelevant parties to get rid of their misplaced anger and move on. Clea sadly is never coming back, and the issues being raised by twits such as the loony left aren’t helping people make sense of their lives.

(Personal not professional opinion)

VYBerlinaV8 10:45 am 27 Mar 06

Forget the report, I think we should encourage Police to be a lot tougher on the sort of behaviour that caused this problem in the first place. These kids just aren’t scared of the Police, and I think they should be.

terubo 8:26 pm 26 Mar 06

Why are we getting so excited about an INTERNAL police report?
Surely we need some kind of IMPARTIAL and OBJECTIVE report into what happened; who cares if it’s the Ombudsman or anyone else with NO AXE TO GRIND?
Hooligans pinch car, Police give chase, young woman gets run over, dies. Surely it’s not difficult for an independent body to establish where things went wrong.
JB, I don’t give a flying f**k what some discredited Bosnian aid worker / ex-military square-basher has to say about the matter.

el 2:40 am 26 Mar 06

I’m sure anyone with an axe to grind against the coppers will complain whether the report is publicly released or not.

DVD 11:29 pm 25 Mar 06

good work shauno, thats just what Police need more people with no policing knowledge at all telling them how they can improve their own job.

Regardless of what happened look at it the other way – If the shit house kids responsible drove the stolen car through the bus interchange with no cop car behind them all the do gooders would be bleating about 3 known crooks in a stolen car being able to drive into the middle of the city without the cops noticing and how dumb deaf and blind the coppers are.

The people responsible for what happened apart from the worthless trash inside the stolen car are the magistrates who bail them over and over again.

Spectra 1:35 pm 25 Mar 06

In their defence:
a) They have given the full report to the Rose family, and
b) The reason given for not releasing the report fully yet is that they’re still checking with lawyers over privacy issues. In spite of how the ABC report is worded, they haven’t said they never intend to hand over the full report. If they did this now, and the result was a breach of privacy laws, I’m sure people here (myself included) would be the first to criticize them for that instead) 🙂

shauno 1:23 pm 25 Mar 06

No just hand over the report.

We pay these people they are a public service. Give us the bloody report and open the organization up so we can see where our money is being spent and where we can improve it.

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