Review of the 'evade police' provisions
The ‘evade police’ provisions introduced into the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act in 2006 were designed to reduce the number of police pursuits and the associated risks to community safety in Queensland. They do this by giving police the option to allow a fleeing vehicle to ‘escape’, knowing that they have the power and investigative tools to identify the offending driver at a later stage.
Under the Act, we were required to review how police were using these powers.
Outcome of the review
- The provisions have improved community safety — they are among a range of factors that have contributed to a substantial and sustained decline in police pursuits since 2006.
- Because the provisions rely on the police being able to serve a notice on the registered owner of a vehicle, they are not effective in all situations where drivers flee police (e.g. if the offender is driving a stolen or unregistered vehicle).
- Police are under-using the powers. In most cases, they choose to commence a pursuit if this is permitted by the policy. Factors contributing to this include weaknesses in the legislation, and police dissatisfaction with court outcomes.
Our 13 recommendations aim to make the provisions a more effective investigation and prosecution tool in situations where they can be applied. Coupled with improvements to the police policy and training framework, this will go some way to ensuring that the provisions are more often used instead of pursuits.
In December 2011 the Government released its response to the CMC’s report. The Government supports all 13 of the CMC’s recommendations.
Ten of the CMC’s recommendations require legislative change, which the Government expects to implement by 2013.
The remaining three recommendations deal with police policy, training and reporting. The Queensland Police Service has already implemented important changes to policy in support of a more restrictive police pursuit, and will action the remaining recommendations in 2012.
Related documents and links
|Report||An alternative to pursuit: a review of the evade police provisions (PDF, 1 MB)|
|Media releases and statements||CMC review of ‘evade police’ powers — putting the brakes on high-risk pursuits (29.06.2011)|
|Government response||Queensland Government Response to the Crime and Misconduct Commission's report entitled An Alternative to Pursuit: A review of the evade police provisions (PDF, 2 MB)|