Exploring the Effectiveness and Dangers of High Speed Police Pursuits

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It is common for Hollywood to glamorise high speed police chases, often depicted with police vehicles speeding through the streets with sirens blaring and the offender always being caught without incidence, however this depiction could not be further from the truth with police chases often having serious consequences and the outcome often far from ideal. It is due to these less than ideal outcomes that the media and public at large often call for the practice to be banned or for further regulations to be imposed. This essay will look at police pursuits, it will explore their effectiveness and why they are initiated. It will also be asked whether the practice is safe for all those involved, police, offenders and the public at large. In …show more content…
This quote highlights one of the main issues relating to high speed pursuits, whether any possible apprehension is worth the risk to everyone involved. Who are the offenders, what crimes have they committed and why were they chased are questions that need to be asked to gain an understanding of whether the risk the offender posed to the community was greater than what risk the actual pursuit itself caused. Two Australian reports researching police pursuits both concluded that the majority of offenders involved in pursuits were young males and one quarter to one third were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of apprehension (Hoffmann & Mazerolle, 2005) (ACT Department of Justice and Community Saftey, 2007), this is in line with criminology teachings stating young males are the most likely to participate in criminal or deviate behaviour (Siegel, 2008).
A recent Queensland report into police pursuits found only a small amount of people involved in high speed chases were apprehended for crimes any more serious in nature then that what was already known at the time the police initiated the chase. In contradiction to popular belief that offenders flee from the police as they are guilty of a more serious offence this same study

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