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Author Topic: Queensland police no pursuit policy should be scrapped: union  (Read 445 times)

Prickle

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Queensland police no pursuit policy should be scrapped: union

ROGUE drivers are exploiting Queensland’s no-pursuit policy more than ever with police recording more than 110 drive-offs every week.

The latest Queensland Police statistics show that in the past 12 months (March-2016 to April 2017) there were 5871 evade police offences recorded, the equivalent of almost 113 a week.

It’s a 29 per cent increase on the corresponding previous 12 months when 4,554 offences were noted.

The Queensland Police Union boss Ian Leavers has called on the Palaszczuk Government to scrap the no pursuit policy and give cops discretion to chase.

Mr Leavers said the policy was an abject failure and even the number of motorists daring to play catch-me-if-you-can was untenable.

“These stats which have risen more than threefold over the last year clearly show the current ‘no pursuits policy’ for police is a dismal failure and should be consigned to the wastepaper bin,” Mr Leavers said.

“Offenders know police have their hands tied in most circumstances and cannot pursue them so they do not stop and these figures show they are becoming more emboldened to flee from police at every opportunity.”

“Police on the frontline know the police department’s ‘no pursuits policy’ is quite simply bad policy and the only people it aids are the offenders not police.

Mr Leavers noted the anomaly that police had the discretion to use firearms but not to pursue a vehicle.
Queensland Police Union Ian Leavers.

“We trust police to carry firearms and use their discretion, so it is high time we trusted police to use their discretion as well when it comes to whether or not they decide to pursue an offender.”

A more restricted pursuit policy was implemented on the recommendations made by a coroner after a spate of fatal crashes.

Introduced in 2012, the policy states that pursuits are “inherently dangerous” and should only be undertaken if those fleeing are an “imminent threat to life” or been involved in or threatened a murder or other serious offence.

Anyone who commits two offences of evading police may have their car confiscated and forfeited to the state.

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating said it was a concern if one motorist did not pull over when instructed but it was important innocent lives were not lost either.

“It’s a concern when people don’t stop when they are under the requirement of the law to do so,” he told The Courier-Mail.

“One is a concern, 10 is a concern, but what we are saying to police and for the safety of the public, we have to manage the risk.

“It’s an increase but it’s an increase where we are managing the risks to the general public which is our responsibility.”
Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating.

Of the 5871 evade police offences between March 2016 and April 2017, only 1573 motorist were subsequently tracked down and a total of 1573 charges were laid.

Mr Keating said the police do their best to track down every drive but there were instances which made that task extremely difficult.

He added that in some instances one driver may chalk up several evade police offences and that has inflated the figure.

“There are many reasons. The car may have no registration plates, there are circumstances where the car may be stolen or maybe unlawfully used,” he said.

“It could be a rental vehicle where they may difficulties in identifying the driver at the time.

“The challenges are identifying the owner of the vehicle and then identifying the driver.”

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the fact there had been no deaths associated with police pursuits, shows there is merit in the policy.

“Police can and do pursue in certain circumstances,” he said.

“Prior to the current policy, police pursuits were associated with the deaths of 19 people and the injury of 737 people between 2000 and 2011.

“Since the introduction of the current policy six years ago there have been no deaths associated with police pursuits.”

Drive-offs: Mar 2015 — Apr 2016 / Mar 2016 — Apr 2017 Increase/ %

Evade Police offences: 4,554 5,871 1317 / 28.9

Persons charged 175 185 10 / 5.7

Charge count 1273 1573 300 / 23.5

· Queensland Police Service statistics

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-police-no-pursuit-policy-should-be-scrapped-union/news-story/d41ab55299b3022548361f31b22596d6
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