Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill has announced changes to the Victoria Police Pursuits Policy to prioritise public safety.

These changes arise from concerns that Police pursuits actually increase the danger to the public and are unnecessary given the other investigative techniques available. In 2014, Coroner Olle released findings in relation to 10 deaths arising from Police pursuits, most of which occurred between 2012 and 2013. Now the Policy has been amended so that Police pursuits are only to be initiated where there is an urgent need to apprehend the vehicle because of a serious risk to public health or safety; or, a criminal offence has been committed, or is about to be committed, which involves serious injury to a person; and, alternative means for apprehending the occupants of the vehicle are not feasible.

In our view this is a sensible response to Coroner Olle’s recommendations and our Ruth Parker, Senior Associate, made comments to David Hurley of The Herald Sun on 14 July 2015 about these changes. Read his article, ‘Brakes on Police Chases’.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Police pursuit and requires legal advice, please contact our experienced team of criminal lawyers at our Melbourne office.