Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: 60 Minutes - Police car chases
I've sent them my views
.........It is a tragedy that these boys died young. But the cold hard facts are these boys are responsible for their own demise. For Susan Lord-Milnes to say it's the fault of the police for chasing someone who had committed a criminal offence, then tried to evade police at high speed is ludicrous. Not only were these boys putting themselves at risk, but the police and other road users as well. If her son didn't steal the car, or pulled over when ordered to do do by the police, he most likely would be alive today. The person to blame is her son, the driver of the stolen car - period. It's people like her son that make other's lives much harder when they steal an innocent person's car. It makes every car owner's life harder when they get yet another premium increase because of car thieves.
If only Susan Lord-Milnes could see it more like Jason Spalding did. At least he had the guts to accept some of the blame, despite only being a passenger. There are laws against stealing cars, there are laws against unlicenced driving and there are laws against failing to pull over when ordered to do so by the police. They are there for the protection of the people and their property. Unfortunately, 5 of the 6 boys mentioned are no longer with us for breaking those laws.
I completely disagree with Susan Lord-Milnes' attitude to police pursuits. In Victoria, 24 deaths occured as a result of police pursuits over 2 years. But letting criminals, unlicensed and drunk drivers go because they won't stop would most likely result in more deaths. If police give up the chase too easily, none of these offenders will be caught as they know the pursuit will end if they stick it out for a bit. So these offenders are free to continue being a danger to the public. Susan Lord-Milnes wants there to be no police pursuits at all, but what does she propose the police do to apprehend criminals?
I propose following the tactics of other countries, Overseas, more aggressive tactics are used to apprehend people that won't pull over. The police assemble a team and box the driver in forcing it to stop. Another tactic is to ram the car to force it to lose control, hopefully bringing the car to rest and apprehending the offender. I would rather see 1 car thief's life lost through these tactics than see the car thief who, in many cases isn't qualified to drive in the first place - and an innocent family driving in their car die as a result of a collision after a pursuit was called off. Of course, it would be better for nobody to get hurt.
The police hierarchy have come under fire for some of their policies on road safety, but pursuing offenders at speed should not be one of them. A police unit giving chase will have lights and sirens on, to warn other road users of a hazard. A speeding stolen car left to itself after a pursuit is called off does not offer such warning
It's unfortunate that some people in our society see the perpetrators of crime as the victims simply because they paid a fatal price. Susan Lord-Milnes' son should have accepted he did the wrong thing, pulled over and paid the penalty for his mistakes. Instead he took a risk to avoid arrest and killed himself and two of his mates. In the end he chose to pay the ultimate penalty for his actions. His passengers didn't have the luxury of that choice.
Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
Last edited by pauljh74; 03-29-04 at 06:19 AM.