Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A terrible dilemma---to chase or not to chase!

The Scene-----The police call centre receives a call from a member of the public to report that a group of teenagers has stolen his car and that they are heading down the Sothern Motorway. The police respond and are soon chasing the car at high speeds though suburban streets, The car is been driven dangerously and erratically, causing concern that members of the public will be at risk, to say nothing of the danger to those chasing and the kids ion the car. What to do---what a dilemma
The above scenario is all too common and we have seen far too many kids dying because they made a range of bad decisions. We have sad and angry families and questions asked yet again about the procedures the police use. What is also so hard to take, is that the police are in a no win situation. If they don’t chase the car, the young people will get away, possibly going on to cause more mayhem on the roads and furthering their criminal activity.
That is the crux of the problem; knowing what balance to strike. I know that the police have examined their ‘chase or withdraw policies,’ yet the problem remains. At what point do they pull away form a chase? It would be great if we had helicopters in the skies, but such resources are often needed elsewhere or the incident is playing out well away from such resources. That means that the decision to chase is taken in tandem by the officers on the scene and the call centre.
NO matter what the decision is, there will be criticism. We need to slate the blame for these deaths back on the person(s) making the bad decision to get into a car, stolen or otherwise and then go on to endanger others by their subsequent actions.
Perhaps technology can come to assist the police in these much unwanted situations. Surely it is possible to fit all carts with disabling devises that cut the power to any vehicle. Of course criminals will often be one-step-ahead and be able to find ways around such technology. Also there is a cost factor, but if lives are saved and ‘bad behaviours’ taken off the street, then we would have no ‘losers,’ apart from the idiots who make such crazy decisions.
I k now that there will those of you out there who will say that the police are wrong and perhaps sometimes this may be true, but generally it is the ‘antics of the chased’ that causes the police to be in these totally avoidable situations.

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