Union attacks no-pursuit policy after policeman hit by car

CHANGE NOW: Queensland Police Union general president Ian Leavers wants a reversal of the no-pursuit policy after an officer was hit by a car.
CHANGE NOW: Queensland Police Union general president Ian Leavers wants a reversal of the no-pursuit policy after an officer was hit by a car. Rob Williams

THE Queensland Police Union has again attacked the service's no-pursuit policy following an early morning incident in which an Ipswich policeman was hit by a vehicle allegedly dodging a random breath test.

Police were stopping motorists on Brisbane Rd at 1.45am yesterday.

Police have alleged the vehicle was directed to pull over and initially began to do so before turning sharply and striking the police officer.

The force of the impact threw the officer a short distance and the car accelerated away.

It was later found near the Ipswich PCYC on Griffith Rd.

A 23-year-old man from Basin Pocket and a 20-year-old man from Riverview have since been charged co-jointly with one count each of attempt to murder, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and attempting to pervert justice.

The Karana Downs branch officer, aged in his 40s, was treated at Ipswich General Hospital for injuries to his elbow and knee.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the no-pursuit policy meant officers on the scene were powerless to pursue the vehicle involved.

The policy was introduced in 2012 in the wake of a coronial inquest into police pursuits. The inquest had been prompted by 10 fatalities involving pursuits in four years.

Under the policy, officers are barred from high-speed chases unless the target is a violent high-risk offender or lives are threatened.

But Mr Leavers said yesterday's incident was a perfect example of why the no-pursuit policy should be scrapped and police should again be able to pursue vehicles. He said the situation was "farcical".

"It's now so bad even senior commissioned officers who have recently returned to operational roles are saying to me that the Commissioner's no-pursuit policy is unworkable and should be scrapped, too," he said.

"It gives offenders a green light to take their chances and run from police as criminals know only too well that police are powerless to pursue them."

The results of a review of the no-pursuit policy flagged by Police Commissioner Ian Stewart in November 2012 have not been made public.

The two men charged are scheduled to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court today.

Topics:  dangerous operation of a motor vehicle editors picks ian leavers ipswich magistrates court queensland police union

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