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VIC Police accused of using motorists as road block

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by TonyE, May 15, 2012.

  1. Although not directly motorcycle related, I believe it should go into this area because of the implications surrounding police attitudes.

    Police accused of using motorists as roadblock

    Police accused of using motorists as roadblock
    Updated May 15, 2012 10:26:18

    Victoria Police has been accused of using motorists to create a roadblock to stop a high-speed police chase.

    Police say officers started to pursue a stolen car near Benalla, in northern Victoria, on Saturday morning, but the chase was called off after just three minutes because of safety concerns.

    Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana says the police did not pursue the driver but monitored him from the police helicopter.

    "This guy was driving like a maniac to be quite frank," he told ABC local radio.

    "This bloke was driving at speed. At times alleged speeds up around 200 kilometres per hour on the freeway."

    Police then stopped traffic on the Hume Freway near Epping to block the road to try to slow the speeding driver, who appeared to be headed for Melbourne.

    David Rendina was in his car with his girlfriend and two kids when police directed him to stop into an emergency lane.

    Mr Rendina was stopped at the end of a queue of three cars, when he saw the speeding car approaching from behind.

    "I pretty much knew I was a sitting duck. There's no other way for this speeding driver to go but into the emergency lanes," he said.

    "I just remember visualising that and him speeding towards me and going well there's nothing I can do here.

    "He's tried to squeeze in between the gap between me and lane one and he's hit me, hit the car next to me, come back, hit the car in front of me and went into the back of the car in front of that before coming to a stop."

    Other witnesses have contacted the ABC to confirm his account.

    full story...
  2. I wonder if legal action can be taken against the police for endangering public lives like that?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. oh man, that is just fucking crazy stuff. They should be thanking their lucky stars nobody was killed.

  4. Speechless.
  5. Now THERE'S a reason to spilt!
    "sorry officer, I had to split traffic because the guy coming up behind was speeding"
    Think it'll work?
  6. Aerial surveillance drones with the capability of carrying weapons, shoot first warn later, very tight knit cover for each other and stuff everyone else, and now using human shields……………………..Queen Julia should use these highly trained police officers in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda should be very afraid……..
  7. Wtf were those muppets thinking in the first instance. Allowing kids to be caught up in their retarded little exercise. Completely unfcking acceptable.

    Legal action? My kids were in that car? Legal action would provide little consolation for what I'd be seeking.
  8. More detail in The Age -

    Outrage after drivers forced to form roadblock
    Nathan Partenza and Nino Bucci
    May 15, 2012 - 12:28PM
    Read later
    Civilians - including one driver who had two children in his ute - were ordered to form a road block to help police stop a speeding hoon on a major freeway after a failed police pursuit.

    David Rendina said police ordered civilians to form a roadblock on the Hume Freeway, about a kilometre before the Western Ring Road, at Epping, on Saturday morning.

    Do you know more? Email us

    Advertisement: Story continues below
    The police force is now investigating.

    Mr Rendina, who was travelling with his partner and children, aged eight and nine, said the officers told drivers to fill the two lanes of the freeway as well as the emergency lane, in an attempt to stop the speeding car.

    A police pursuit had initially started at Benalla, about 200 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, but was terminated after three minutes because of the driver's erratic behaviour and high speeds.

    The car was then spotted on the Hume Freeway just after 11am and was tracked by the police air wing through Wallan, Kalkallo and Craigieburn.

    Mr Rendina said he was the last of three vehicles in the emergency lane.

    "I pretty much knew I was a sitting duck," he told ABC radio 774 this morning.

    "I just remember seeing him speeding towards me and going, 'Well there's nothing I can do here, I just have to sit here'."

    He said the speeding driver crashed into his car and several others as he tried to navigate the roadblock.

    However, he was arrested by police, who then took statements from drivers who suffered damage.

    Mr Rendina said he did not believe it was worth putting the lives of his children at risk to stop a stolen car.

    ‘‘I was in a position where I couldn’t go forwards, I couldn’t go backwards, I was stuck there,’’ he said. ‘‘Anything could have happened.’’

    The electrician said his Nissan Navara ute has been left undrivable and he is unable to work. He said his children had nightmares about the incident.

    Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said the incident would be reviewed and it was unclear how civilians came to be involved.

    "This guy was driving like a maniac to be quite frank," Mr Fontana told ABC 774.

    "Some of these situations are very difficult to deal with.

    "Our members are thinking on their feet and it's often very difficult for them."

    A female driver, ‘Natalie’, who was also caught up in the roadblock described the actions of police as "suicidal".

    ‘‘Everything came to an absolute dead halt,’’ she told ABC 774.

    ‘‘I could see the cars stopped ahead of me and I saw the car coming super fast down the emergency lane and I just said to my son, ‘Oh no, he’s going to kill himself or kill the people in front of him’... I think it was suicidal.’’

    Melton man Ashley Steel faced 17 charges relating to the pursuit in the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday.

    Steel, 19, has been charged with theft of a motor car, two counts of theft, four charges of reckless conduct endangering life and traffic offences.

    The learner driver was remanded to face the same court on August 7.

    Steel was allegedly overtaking other motorists on the freeway before colliding with four cars and a concrete barrier in an emergency lane while travelling about 30 km/h.

    He was taken to hospital with minor injuries. Nobody else was hurt.

    A police spokeswoman said on Saturday that officers did not start a pursuit on the Hume Freeway due to safety reasons.

    Today, Mr Fontana said the driver had allegedly reached speeds of up to 200km/h on the freeway.

    ‘‘The air wing were extremely concerned about his driving. They said ‘If we don’t stop this bloke, he’s going to kill someone and himself,’’ he said.

    Mr Fontana said this put the officers ‘‘in a bit of dilemma’’ and a decision was made to slow traffic before it reached the city.

    ‘‘It was quite clear that the driver of this car needed to be stopped,’’ he said.

    ‘‘If we had have let him go we could have ended up with a fatality down the road.’’

    On Friday, police released an inspectorate review evaluation of pursuits.

    The report found that police pursuit practices were "sound and improving" but that it was unacceptable that fatalities resulting from police chases continued to make up about one per cent of the road toll.

    There were three fatal pursuits last year, the most since 2006. The worst year for pursuit fatalities in the past decade was 2002, when six deaths were recorded.

    The report made 11 recommendations, including a directive for project teams to research the capacity of mobile data and in car video to assist pursuit controllers and coordinators.

    It was also recommended that all pursuits be reported to a divisional pursuit review panel to assess all pursuits and submit conclusions to the centre for operational safety.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/o...m-roadblock-20120515-1ynza.html#ixzz1uu1ApXbT
  9. Unbelievable!
  10. That was completely stupid. I think there should definitely be charges laid against the police for that one. Their action assured that property was going to be damaged, and that possibly someone would be hurt or killed.

    If I had been in my 4WD in the third row, had there been time I would simply have put the 4WD in low range and pushed the two front cars out of the way. No way I would wait for a nutter driving at high speed to hit the back of my vehicle. Police instructions be damned.

    There were many other things that the police could do, which would only have involved risk to the driver of the stolen car. That would have been far more appropriate.

    PS: Pretending that they were concerned about the driver of the stolen car, while putting innocent people in harms way. Hypocritical idiots.
  11. wonder what they would have done if they had caught some motorbikes between their road block and the car they were trying to stop
  12. I would be astonished if it couldn't, theoretically. But with VP running this state now, who's going to?
  13. Would be a great challenge for the likes of Galbally & co!!
  14. There is an admission for you:

    "Our members are thinking on their feet and it's often very difficult for them."

    NB: I have friends who are Police, and they are pretty bright, so I don't actually believe the above applies to all Police. Maybe just the Highway Patrol...
  15. I hope the insurance companies concerned go after them for the damage.
  16. "The air wing were extremely concerned about his driving. They said ‘If we don’t stop this bloke, he’s going to kill someone and himself… and god dammit I want to choose who we put in front of him, and it won't be one of us’’ he said.
    • Like Like x 4
  17. So are we to take it no police units were damaged, only civilians?
    • Like Like x 5
  18. And a police spokesman said "Sorry about putting kids in danger but we couldn't find any motorcyclists to blame".
    • Like Like x 16
  19. Somebody at Vicpol needs their copy ov Vanishing Point confiscated. Or at least have it explained to them that there's a difference between bulldozers and civilian cars with kids in them.
  20. Interestingly this important news article hasn't been posted on Vicpol's FB page, why is that do we think?