5 July 2007

Police pursuits endangering lives (not criminals) - civil libertarian

| Ralph
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The ABC reports that Civil Liberties Australia is howling over yesterday’s police pusuit through Canberra, claiming that police are endangering lives.

Apparently the full moon was last Friday, but I’m sure one would have thought that rising numbers of violent thugs are more of a threat to Canberrans.

Said offender had allegedly robbed elderly women of cash from ATMs.

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VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt8:58 am 09 Jul 07

DMD, given that you seem unable to divorce our nicknames from this discussion, you are a stupid, uneducated, lazy, ugly, useless wanker.

NOW I’m happy.

Committing crimes is endangering peoples lives, the morons who keep suggesting the police don’t chase people who break the law need to shut up and pull their head in. The is going to be some sort of danger no matter what action the the police take. They already have rules and regulations up to their eyeballs which hinder them doing their jobs. WE all know it is the scumballs committing the crimes then running when police try to aprehend them who are at fault, nobody else.

Or maybe I should take the other view and go and rob some little old ladies of their pension money, then speed away when sighted by the police knowing that I will escape because I will know they won’t chase me? Grow a brain people. 🙂

What about those huge steel spherical cages from that tv show Gladiators. They’re aircooled, durable and have incredible cornering. Just roll to work.

Absent Diane4:36 pm 06 Jul 07

everyone should be forced to catch buses or giant beach balls.. no high speed getaways in those. and you only have so far to run.

Deadmandrinking4:29 pm 06 Jul 07

How can you expect me to be sensible with a nickname like that? When I have a nickname like this? Or when I’m posting on a site with characters like you, vic bitterman and the redneck guy?
I’ve give it a shot..

Yes, society expects that people don’t behave in a criminal manner, but society also expects that the duties of correcting the wrongs of criminal are given to people with training and government approval, whom can also be held accountable for their actions. Joe Bloggs on the street who gets a hard-on from bashing junkies and/or bleeding hearts usually does not have the training or expertise to deal with criminals in a way society deems appropriate.
Also, I at no point and time said I didn’t want these criminals caught – just not at the expense of peoples lives. There are other ways of catching criminals that are less risky that have been pointed out by other’s posts.

There, happy?

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt3:23 pm 06 Jul 07

The point, DMD, is that as a society we have to set the level of ‘criminality’ that we are willing to withstand without protection. For me, the elderly being robbed at ATMs, and home invasions, are not acceptable. Acordingly, I see no problem with dealing with said events (preferably by the police, but by myself if police can’t/won’t). You are clearly willing to accept these types of criminal activities – as implied by your assertion that we shouldn’t be chasing down and catching criminals involved.

The problem, I think, is that society’s expectation is that they can use ATMs, and live in their homes, without being victims of crime. When people such as yourself assert that this is an unreasonable expectation (by implication), because of the risk that something might go wrong. The lawless society to allude to above is the result of lack of policing – not because people try to fortify their homes. A law, really, is only as effective as it’s policing.

So bottom line – you think I’m a ‘crazy V8 owner’ (nice association BTW), and yes, I think you’re a bleeding heart. Instead of speaking in generalities using emotional rhetoric (your comments directed at me, for example), try to present your view rationally, and people might be willing to sensibly engage with you.

Deadmandrinking3:00 pm 06 Jul 07

Sure I understand the human motivation, but we’ve got to suppress some of our instinctive urges if we are to function as a civilized society – otherwise we can just fortify our houses, stock up on weapons and food and lead our lives in an anarchic free-for-all. In the case of your apparent utopia, anyone would be perfectly justified barging into your home, setting fire to it and zooming off in your V8, because it would be evolution, baby.
Fortunatley we live in a society with laws and power that’s (supposedly) distributed, so that criminals are dealt with indirectly by the collective society. This way, we don’t have crazy v8 owners or anyone else for that matter brutalizing someone where they see fit.
But I’m such a bleeding heart for dead people I wouldn’t understand, right?

Cletus – if it makes you feel any better, people play the man not the ball all the time round here (speaking of which – anyone heard from bonfire recently?). It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve run out of ideas – it just means they think you’re a dick.

Ah of course, the mating call of the loser “yeah I can beat you but I don’t want to”. Ha ha ha, good one. (Yes, I savour the irony too, thank you).

We’re actually on a (mostly) anonymous internet forum where you don’t need any speck of courage or conviction to back up insults, so I find them even more idiotic and pointless than in real life. Why would you even bother saying anything at all if it isn’t going to be constructive? It’s utterly pointless.

That said, I don’t mind having a bit of a dig myself especially when you’re winning the argument. It’s when you lose and try to dig your way out of it with nothing but personal attacks is when you confirm your status as a loser to your oponent and all spectators.

it costs an incredible amount to keep a chopper Thumper: in the air per hour. I wish I could remember the dollars but sadly I can’t.

for a police type chopper, around $1500-$2500 an hour depending on model, staffing etc

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt2:40 pm 06 Jul 07

“Your V8 should be impounded then. It gives you too much testosterone, sorry.”

The words of a narrow minded loser who lacks understanding of the human motivation. Grow a brain and focus on the issue. None of the bleeding heart crapola you have sprouted has convinced me of anything.

The high-speed chase thing is a tough one. However, given that the feds have to deal with this kind of thing as an operational concern, I’d say that they have some pretty well-defined procedures about when to stop and when to give chase. This is probably why it took so long to nab this granny-bashing nob-end.

A question – would having a pursuit chopper make chases any safer? Wouldn’t the crim just try to run from the chopper and be equally dangerous (you’ll note that in these situations, it’s invariably the crim who knocks over the innocent bystander, not the cops chasing)?

I don’t know if chasing everything that runs is a good policy though. I’m not convinced that it would result in fewer chases. The mentality that runs from the flashing lights and sirens is not one that does a considered risk assessment before stomping on the throttle.

That said, I’m convinced that the ABC journos trotted out comment from this Rowlings guy cause it was the closest thing they could find to the old “police chases should be banned” chestnut so the kind of debate that we’ve seen here could be generated (i.e. so people would pay attention to the story).

Cletus – if it makes you feel any better, people play the man not the ball all the time round here (speaking of which – anyone heard from bonfire recently?). It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve run out of ideas – it just means they think you’re a dick.

Hi Woody,

Maybe some cop will run over and kill your loved one so they can catch a petty crim who nicked a handful of cash one day. I’m sure it’ll all be worth it.

True, and maybe one day a petty crim will take your mother’s handbag, knocking her to the ground and she’ll hit her head and be killed (god forbid), and then you’ll wish the cops could have been a stronger deterrent or caught him last time he did that, and you might realise the issue isn’t black and white.

Or maybe one day the police will never chace anyone. Would you be happy then when there are criminals everywhere, speeding around and knocking people down as they go? Because if I was that way inclined, and knew the police would never chase me, I know what my ATM would be, and I know exactly how I would drive to get there and back.

I would like nothing more than for there to be no need for a police force, but if you think that can happen by empowering people to be responsible for their actions, then you are in fairly land. The civil libs, like many ideological groups, have some good ideas when taken in moderation — gaining freedom via personal responsibility is great, but I think only the deluded would go so far as saying we could dispense with law enforcement.

Well said cletus.

Well named, more like it.

Ahh, exactly the eloquent and well reasoned rebuttal to my arguments that I expected. Yep, when your opposition resorts to personal attacks, you can be fairly sure that they’ve no more real ammunition. Thanks for confirming that.

Has anyone asked the Police if they have a helicopter, or have access to one?

Perhaps a smallish, light blue unit, with Police siren installed? Seen a couple of years ago over the Majura Lane driver training complex.

Absent Diane1:47 pm 06 Jul 07

Hey vic you sound a bit like a commie there being all anti civil liberties and so on.

Anyway wrong issue to push civil liberties on. Or at least wrong way about it. Perhaps the guy should have offered up some viable alternatives.

In saying that cops do need to be very accountable for there actions eg need to be able to determine if public safety is at risk should they take the chase – what was it that spiderman rip off movie said with power comes responsibility or something.

Deadmandrinking1:39 pm 06 Jul 07

Your V8 should be impounded then. It gives you too much testosterone, sorry.

Deadmandrinking1:38 pm 06 Jul 07

I understand the implications of being a victim of crime and I also understand the implications of giving everyone free reign to deal with it how they see fit. That’s why we have laws and courts and the likes. Because hey, without laws, it wouldn’t really be your house now would it?
They pursued Amber Jane Westin after she failed to stop. She crashed and hit an old woman.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt1:33 pm 06 Jul 07

Oh, and for what it’s worth, I do not, and have never, carried a weapon. A regular member of a civilised society has no such need.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt1:32 pm 06 Jul 07

I hope you were referring to me DMD. Clearly you do not understand the implications of being the victim of a crime. I was not trying to be funny – I was trying to articulate the method most effective for preventing some loser junkie from invading mine and my family’s personal space. Don’t like it? Don’t break into my home.

Also, calling the Amber Westin incident a police chase is drawing a long bow – it was right outside the police station!

Deadmandrinking1:21 pm 06 Jul 07

El – I see the languid armchair conservatives have laid a fart – which stinks like the current state of law enforcement policy in the ACT.
Cletus – I think you’ll find most law enforcement agencies will take caution when arresting murderers and mass murderers. With Hitler, I kind of think he was more an Enemy combatant than your average thuggish coward running off with a stolen $1500.
The fact is, police pursuits are dangerous. They involve chasing cars driven by scared and possibly drugged up drivers at high speeds, causing the pursued to make irrational and potentially deadly decisions.
The risk assessment would have to come down to whether it is worth the good chance someone might be killed to take a (usually) petty offender off the street and in this case, the scales tilt the other way. $1500 and an offender whom I assume the police would already have a description of (also, it didn’t say the car was stolen, so I assume it was his – even though, yes, they couldn’t have known it, but still…) – that isn’t worth someone’s life, as I said before.
Don’t get me wrong, I commend the police’s efforts in this case. They did a good job and have brought a criminal to justice. However, I wonder what you all would have been saying if the car had crashed into North Ainslie primary and killed a few kids. In the light of the Clea Rose and Amber Jane Westin incidences, we all know very well that chases can end in disasters. Policies regarding police pursuits need to be changed.
Asp brought up some good points. There are other ways to nab the offenders, ones that greatly reduce risk and may even be more effective, as the strategy in car chases seems to be to just run the cars off the road and hope you can pull the suspect out in one piece.
Dirty Harry methods are the realm of f-wits before you start, which is why V8 should never be to carry anything vaguely resembling a weapon. She should additionally be banned from the internet for destroying my faith in humanity – along with Vic Bitterman. Dude, that was not even funny.

Mr Rowlings, you are a first class grade F#ckwit!!! I’m sorry mate what would you have the cops do, let him go so he can steal someone else’s money? GET REAL, the cops are doing their job and good on them for doing it. bit of high visability policing never went astray. As I said in an earlier post, Mr Rowlings lot will have us now believe that this ‘poor fellow’ suffers from some torment that leads him to steal from old ladies, its not his fault. Please, get serious.

barking toad1:04 pm 06 Jul 07

Why they’re happening more frequently may have something to do with not enough police on the beat, crims being more brazen because of softcock court sentences etc.

Civil libertarians don’t consider these things as appropriate. They like to focus on the victimhood of the criminal. It’s always the fault of someone or something else. All rights, no responsibility.

There seems to be an incredible amount of mischaracterisation of Mr Rowley’s comments here. Let’s see, the sum total of what’s he’s reported to have said in the linked article is:

The ACT’s Chief Executive of Civil Liberties Bill Rowlings said police pursuits pose many dangers to those nearby.

Well, that’s true. Isn’t it? And hardly controversial, either. Followed by:

“What’s worrying is that the frequency of these pursuits seems to be increasing, when I think what the community wants is fewer pursuits rather than more. But it’s hard to second guess the police and certainly I think there needs to be another close look at why these pursuits are escalating, why we’re getting more of them” he said.

Let’s break that down. Did he say “the police shouldn’t have chased that guy yesterday”? No, he didn’t. He said that it’s worrying that there are more police pursuits through the streets (again, hardly a controversial viewpoint) and that there should be a look at why this is increasing.

Characterising his comments as “the police shouldn’t be allowed to chase anyone” is setting up a classic Straw Man.

barking toad8:57 am 06 Jul 07

Civil libertarians live in cuckoo land where everyone has rights that are absolute but there are no responsibilities. This a view shared by tree-hugging leftie hippies and the ABC.

I’d like to see the police go “weapons-free” in these situations.

Good to hear you are sympathising with petty criminals Woody Mann.

And here I was thinking the bevvy of bleeding hearts wouldn’t open their mouths because anything they have to say on this is would be wildly out of step with the general populous.

I agree with Danman. Cops are stuck in the middle.
They are trying to do their job, and good on them.
The question is, however, why don’t we have police helicopters?
Surely that would go a long way towards negating the need for police cars to zoom round and round schools at high speed ?
The chopper can just sit in the sky and watch the stupid axe cleft..

Poor cops – damed if you do – damned if you do not.

I take my hat off to them.

Whoever that idiot was making the civil libertarian comments, he should be made to stand and watch while his own mother is king hit at an ATM and the police refuse to follow the perpetrator.

It’s about time that stupid do-gooders are put to the sword before it is unsafe to venture out in to the street.

Woody Mann-Caruso11:50 pm 05 Jul 07

Maybe some lowlife will give him a flogging at an ATM and steal his money one day.

Maybe some cop will run over and kill your loved one so they can catch a petty crim who nicked a handful of cash one day. I’m sure it’ll all be worth it.

Well said cletus.

Well named, more like it.

Spot on Cletus. Welcome aboard!

Vic Bitterman10:10 pm 05 Jul 07

“milimeters (sic) perhaps?” – asp

Spelling lesson needed asp.

But anyway, don’t confuse me with your gay boyfriend.

civil libertarians are scum. Just as bad as the crims they sympathise with.

I’m sure you are not alone in your thoughts, VYBerlinaV8. I expect that a good proportion of Australia’s “missing persons” have been caught in someone’s home and despatched to where they will never break and enter again.

“Civil libertarians can go suck on my 9 1/4 inches…..” – Vic Bitterman

milimeters perhaps?

Well said cletus.

swamiOFswank7:39 pm 05 Jul 07

If you want to send Bill Rowlings a polite message, sharing your thoughts…this is the address: http://www.cla.asn.au/pages/about.php

Vic Bitterman7:38 pm 05 Jul 07

Civil libertarians can go suck on my 9 1/4 inches…..

swamiOFswank7:22 pm 05 Jul 07

I was driving on Northbourne Ave at the time and saw the little white speed demon go past…and then no less than eight marked and mostly unmarked Police cars (plus two paddy wagons) heading north from Civic, from Belco via Macarthur Ave, and South from Mitchell – and all turning towards Antill St. NONE were speeding. ALL had lights flashing and some had sirens going when traffic needed to move aside. The ‘pursuit’ as far as I’m concerned did not involve speeding or unsafe driving from the Police. I think they probably just swarmed and blocked the dickhead in; a fairly safe way to go about it.

And I hope the court gives the bastard a custodial sentence – enough already of the AJ Westin teflon treatment for crime. Rolling old ladies at ATM’s is dispicable.

I have no objection to this activity. I can never get to Melbourne to see the Grand Prix, so watching these pursuits is the next best thing.

Apologies for the formatting: it is my first post here. I didn’t realise the forum word-wraps for you.

The point isn’t that police shouldn’t catch criminals, it’s that they should exercise caution whilst doing so – and maybe call off pursuits if they look to involve a shitload of cars zooming around at high-speed nears schools full of children. It’s just dumb luck no-one was injured or killed during this pursuit and it’s not a risk that can be afforded time and time again. Catching a criminal isn’t ever worth someone’s life.

That’s rubbish, that’s just painting a grey issue
as black and white.

Let’s take your black and white to the logical
conclusion: catching a killer isn’t worth any
life, catching a mass murderer isn’t, catching
Hitler wasn’t… but compared to any of those
things, driving to the shops is totally insignifcant and since you risk killing someone
on the way there, you can’t go. Actually you
shouldn’t walk there either because you could
trip over and kill yourself or someone who
happens to get in your way. Maybe just don’t
get out of bed.

The reality is there are always risks and so
risks will always have to be taken. You even see
things like statistical estimates how many more
people will get cancer from the radioactive
pollutants from X new coal fired power plants and such. So we’re talking about real risks and lives
being weighed up all the time.

The balance should be reasonable, of course, but
“catching a criminal” is definitely worth a
considerable risk. Imagine if nobody could ever
take any risk to catch a criminal (ie. the best
that the police force could do is stay in bed)!
And no, it isn’t about just catching this one
person either, it is about deterrent too.

Yeah, it’s great to see the armchair experts coming out of the woodwork and telling the cops how they can better do their job already.


DMD – we also don’t want a situation where crazy drivers know that all they have to do is speed round and round schools and the police will leave.

Let me first say this… I hate civil liberterians!!! We all deserve rights and liberties, but these people are too extreme in their views.

That said, there are smarter ways to catch theives. And the responce by police must be proportional to the risk to the community and the crime committed. On this occassion, we have a scum bag, praying on elderly members of the community. He must be cought.

But to launch a full scale police chase that ends with the offender being rammed is over zealous. In many US states, for offenders who are not committing a crime or endangering the community at the time they are spotted by police, police now prefer to use unmarked vehicles to follow the offender until they stop and exit the vehicle when they get to their destination.

I think on this occassion, a more subtle and covert tactic would have been more appropriate. It would have meant very little risk to the community and would have saved taxpayers the bill for the repairs to those police cars which will be off the road while they are repaired.

Deadmandrinking5:23 pm 05 Jul 07

The point isn’t that police shouldn’t catch criminals, it’s that they should exercise caution whilst doing so – and maybe call off pursuits if they look to involve a shitload of cars zooming around at high-speed nears schools full of children. It’s just dumb luck no-one was injured or killed during this pursuit and it’s not a risk that can be afforded time and time again. Catching a criminal isn’t ever worth someone’s life.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt4:45 pm 05 Jul 07

People like this are the reason that I always figured that if I had a home invasion I’d simply beat the person beyond recognition as a human, and then dump them in the reserve acorss the street. What are they going to do? Call the cops?

Be mindful that it was the ABC who found this to be newsworthy. No surprise there I suppose. But I agree, best just to not give these characters any oxygen at all.

The problem isn’t so much with that idiot Bill Rowlings, who obviously has little concept of reality, but rather it’s the irresponsible journalists (I use the term lightly here) who waste everyone’s time by reporting such drivel. I thought editors and producers were there to do that sort of work, obviously whoever should have nipped the stupid story in the bud didn’t do their job! ergo, they be overpaid and underworked like most media people!

Well done to the cops I say! One violent offender caught, nobody injured. Perhaps the civil libertarians should consider the civil liberties of the poor elderly ladies that were attacked by this scumbag.

Also thanks to these moonbat civil libertarians and their ilk this thug will be back on the streets in no time at all.

I’m sure Mr Rowlings would change his tune if he was the victim of a violent home invasion.

poor bastard – being harrassed like that. Need to put Mr Rowlings together with the civic minded money liberator and see what his tune is.

Someone needs to get a grasp on reality – and what am I missing here, what does a police pursuit of a criminal have to do with civil liberties???????

“and certainly I think there needs to be another close look at why these pursuits are escalating, why we’re getting more of them” said Mr high and mighty ACT Chief Executive of Civil Liberties Bill Rowlings

Could this by chance have anything with the continued harping by people like yourself Mr Rowlings making criminals, perhaps rightly, think that police have so many safety constraints on them regarding pursuits that if you run you have a fair chance of getting away?

If the rumour mill is right yesterday’s pursuit was called off several times and the primary police vehicles disengaged but our poor alledged offender kept driving past secondary patrol vehicles who were in the area to support if needed and who after asking for clearance were given the go ahead to recommence the pursuit.

God forbid police be allowed to catch criminals!

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