Sunday, April 15, 2012

Police chases

So I see the police are yet again being blamed by the bleeding heart liberals of the world for a death during the pursuit of a criminal.

'The crash has prompted a call from opposition police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts for a review of police pursuits, which she says should occur only in extraordinary circumstances.  Pursuing a stolen car in the middle of the day in built-up areas was not warranted, given the risk of injury to innocent members of the public and police officers, she said.'

Gee Michelle, it must be nice to be able to sit on the sidelines and just have all the answers, while taking none of the heat for actually making the hard decisions.

The simple reality is that setting any sort of automatic limit on when a criminal gets pursued - be it based on speed, time of day, location or anything else - simply tells criminals when they can get away with flouting the law with impunity.  Abandon chase at 140km/h?  Cool, steal something faster.  Can't pursue through a built up area?  Awesome, let's deliberately drive through a built up area as fast as we can.

Yes, it's tragic that an innocent member of the public died.  That's horrible.  The cops involved were running a red light, they have a duty of care to the public at the best of times, let alone when breaking traffic rules in pursuit.

Yes, I think it's reasonable that consent be sought for a pursuit to ensure there is oversight of the safety of doing so.  I'm quite happy with the decision residing with a senior officer as opposed to a potentially junior officer, in the name of making a mature decision.

But no, I don't think that eliminating every single possible danger to the public at the expense of abandoning any effective hope of preventing criminal behaviour is workable.  And I'm sure that ol' Michelle would be the first person putting out a press release about the failure of government to control criminal behaviour if it was done, too.

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