You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

WA police want to pursue crooks on roads

AAP logoAAP 21/09/2016

The death of a Perth couple this week whose car was hit by another vehicle fleeing police was tragic but should not mean that hot pursuits are banned, says WA police deputy commissioner Gary Dreibergs.

The couple, grandparents Glenys, 60 and Kevin, 66, were passengers in a Nissan Pulsar being driven by their son Michael that was t-boned on Saturday night by a Ford in Warwick, in suburban Perth.

Michael is in a critical condition in Royal Perth Hospital with life threatening injuries. The family has requested their surname not be used in the media.

The deaths of the couple have reignited tensions about police hot pursuits harming innocent bystanders, with a WA coronial inquest recently concluding into the death of mother Sharon Ann D'Ercole, who was hit by a police car that was pursuing a stolen car in 2012.

Mr Dreibergs said there had to be legal consequences for committing crimes and aborting a pursuit could allow a criminal to harm someone else later.

"The flipside is, you stop a pursuit and then hear 15 minutes later that person has continued and hurt someone seriously or even worse got away from police and done an armed robbery an hour later and impacted someone's life in a horrific way," he told 6PR radio.

"You are dealing with people who are totally irrational, criminals who are not decent people with no regard for anybody else's safety."

He said police had a "safety first" approach for officers and the public when it came to pursuits and were trained to make risk assessments.

But a deterrent effect was a crucial part of the justice system that was necessary to stop crime including on the roads, he said.

Options for reducing the risks of pursuits included using police traffic spikes, known as "stingers" and helicopters for high level views.

It's believed police had been pursuing the Ford last weekend after it was driving erratically and had failed to stop for them, but had then aborted the chase before the crash.

The 16-year-old boy accused of being involved is in custody and has been charged with two counts of manslaughter and a string of other driving charges.

He was on bail at the time of the crash on other matters.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon