A 35-year-old motorcycle rider who failed to stop for Queensland Police at Northgate in Brisbane yesterday (11 December 2019) was later killed in a crash with a 4WD.
Queensland Police say they did not pursue the motorcycle after they tried to intercept it about 4.50pm on Peary Road.
“A short time later the police vehicle located a two-vehicle crash involving the motorcycle and a 4WD at the intersection of Peary Road and Northgate Road,” police media say.
“The motorcycle rider, a 35-year-old Wakerley man was pronounced deceased at the scene.
“The driver and sole occupant of the 4WD, a 60-year-old woman from Wavell Heights was not injured.”
The Forensic Crash Unit and Ethical Standards Command are investigating.
Quote this reference number: QP1902469928
Our condolences to the rider’s family and friends.
Sadly, it is not the first time we have reported on riders fleeing police, crashing and injuring or killing themselves.
While not making any judgements on this case, motorcycle riders typically fail to stop because they are unlicensed, drunk, are close to losing their licence or the vehicle is stolen.
Police in most states do not pursue vehicles in such cases.
A leading police study has found the three most pressing issues for police reform around the world are use of force, policing of violence in families and high-speed pursuits.
A 2009 Australian Institute of Criminology study found deaths in custody at police stations are declining but “deaths in custody” as a result of high-speed pursuits were rising.
While less than 1% of police pursuits results in a fatal crash, 38% of the people killed are innocent bystanders.
It’s much worse in the USA where one person dies every day as a result of a police pursuit. Of those deaths, 1% are police, 55% suspects and 44% bystanders.
Most police procedures acknowledge the judgement of the officer at the scene to begin a pursuit.
However, continuation of the pursuit is then deferred to a senior officer at the station or headquarters.
They have to make a quick judgement based on the lethal risk to the community of the chase versus the lethal risk to the community of letting a serious offender escape.
This must be backed by information, not just mere suspicion.
Queensland police figures show only about 3% of pursuits involved imminent threat to life or a suspect escaping after a homicide.
Police have a duty to not only prevent and control crime, but more importantly, they have a duty to protect the community and that includes from their own reckless behaviour and judgement.