Here is a dilemma for the State, the police and the community:
Child killed in police chase - and all over a $1265 theft
JOSEPHINE TOVEY, GEESCHE JACOBSEN AND JESSICA MAHAR
SMH, January 2, 2010 .
THE death of an 21-month-old girl during a high-speed police chase in south-west Sydney has thrown the spotlight on to police pursuit procedures.
The girl died on New Year's Eve when her family's Subaru was hit from behind by the getaway car of two alleged armed robbers being pursued by two police cars and a helicopter. Her family requested she not be identified.
In a poem about her daughter on MySpace, her mother wrote: ''I cannot wait to watch you grow, from your little head to your tiny toes.''
The acting Police Commissioner, Dave Owens, said yesterday the officers in the pursuit had adhered to the police's ''very, very strict guidelines''.
The regional commander Stuart Wilkins said hours after the accident: ''These are two highly dangerous offenders … police were doing their job to pursue and arrest those offenders.''
But a spokesman said the pursuit protocols might be reviewed, depending on the outcome of the investigation.
The girl died about 7pm strapped into a baby seat in her parents' car, which was travelling on the Hume Highway at Ingleburn. Her mother, who is reportedly eight months' pregnant, and her father sustained minor injuries and were discharged from hospital yesterday.
The men had allegedly robbed two bottle shops minutes before the crash and had stolen two bottles of whisky, a packet of cigarettes and $1265 in cash.
A police patrol unit spotted their vehicle in East Hills and took chase. It was joined by two Highway Patrol vehicles and a police helicopter, which took over the chase.
When the vehicle crashed into the Subaru, it was pushed into a concrete barrier.
The men tried to hijack a passing car, but one was hit by a vehicle and both were arrested.
Kaine John Alexander Bell, 21, was charged with three counts of armed robbery and appeared in court yesterday. William Ngati, 26, was in hospital under police guard last night.
Both have significant criminal records, including charges for matters such as assault, robbery and dangerous driving.
Mr Ngati was wanted under a warrant for breaching parole on a drug conviction.
Mr Bell sobbed as he faced court by video link yesterday. His sister Evelyn said his emotional state showed he was sorry and upset. ''My heart goes out to the little girl and her family. My brother never meant any harm or to kill anyone … And he has to live with this for the rest of his life.''
He did not apply for bail and will appear in court on Monday.
. . .
Should police pursue criminals and cause them to do something which they did not intend to do?
The above article from the respected (?) Sydney Morning Herald puts things in perspective; obviously in these cases the police have a choice, to chase armed robbers or not. I really think that they should not do so, who can fortell the ramifications of their actions, had they not started the chase one man would not be in hospital and another would not be in tears over what had inadvertently been done.
I mean, here's two guys just allegedly trying to make a slightly dishonest living by terrorising and robbing people and the unthinking and uncaring police chase them; after all what do the police think that they are about? Is it their job to chase blokes who are only trying to provide for their families? Probably these unfortunates can't get steady jobs because society has picked on them and caused them to have criminal records, had the police left them alone in the past then they wouldn't now have criminal records; obvious is it not?
The Commissioner of Police ought to stop all police pursuits of criminals in cars both for the good of the criminals and society in general ; a move which I am sure would be appaluded by the SMH.