Po­lice cars rammed

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - AN­THONY DOWSLEY an­thony.dowsley@news.com.au

THREE Vic­to­rian po­lice cars have been rammed in sep­a­rate at­tacks in just over 24 hours.

The bla­tant dis­re­gard for the law be­gan on Thurs­day night when a 16-year-old driver at­tempted to bait of­fi­cers into a chase.

The L-plater, alone in the ve­hi­cle, was first spot­ted in Cran­bourne driv­ing with­out head­lights and per­form­ing a burnout in front of po­lice about 6pm.

It is al­leged the teen then spot­ted the same po­lice car on the South Gipp­s­land High­way nearby, drove in front of it and then re­versed, ram­ming it with the of­fi­cers in­side.

The boy was charged with con­duct en­dan­ger­ing se­ri­ous in­jury and as­sault­ing po­lice. He was granted bail.

An­other two ram­mings in­volved po­lice at­tempt­ing to in­ter­cept cars with false num­ber­plates.

Both made their es­cape by driv­ing on the wrong side of the road af­ter ram­ming po­lice.

The in­ci­dents take the to­tal num­ber of po­lice ram­mings to over 220 in two years.

At 2.45am yes­ter­day, of­fi­cers spot­ted a pair of Honda Civics with false num­ber­plates on Welling­ton Rd in Rowville.

One of the cars was later spot­ted driv­ing er­rat­i­cally on East­Link. Po­lice fol­lowed the cars to the Monash Free­way be­fore in­ter­cept­ing one of the cars. Both men in­side were wear­ing masks. As po­lice tried to ar­rest the driver he re­versed, ram­ming the po­lice car. The driver of the sec­ond ve­hi­cle then veered to­wards of­fi­cers stand­ing out­side their pa­trol car. Both Hon­das then drove off, one of them on the wrong side of the Monash.

An hour ear­lier in Se­bastopol, a sub­urb of Bal­larat, po­lice spot­ted a ve­hi­cle with false num­ber­plates that matched the de­scrip­tion of a car linked to an ag­gra­vated bur­glary.

Po­lice last night were still hunt­ing the driver who rammed a pa­trol car head-on as the of­fi­cers at­tempted to stop him, then drove off.

A short pur­suit was ter­mi­nated af­ter the ve­hi­cle drove on the wrong side of the road. The car was later found dumped.

Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Wayne Gatt re­newed his calls for a new of­fence of ram­ming po­lice to be leg­is­lated ur­gently.

Mr Gatt sup­ports a min­i­mum manda­tory two-year jail term for the act.

“These crim­i­nals are aided by the knowl­edge that their high risk strat­egy is of lit­tle or no con­se­quence,” he said.

“Ev­ery day we wait for leg­isla­tive change to the of­fence of ram­ming a po­lice car is an­other day that our mem­bers are fur­ther placed at risk of se­ri­ous in­jury or worse.

“Mem­ber safety is not an is­sue we’re pre­pared to be pa­tient on.”

In a state­ment, Vic­to­ria Po­lice said it was “cur­rently re­view­ing” the in­crease in the ram­ming of po­lice ve­hi­cles.

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