Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

Login fail marred car chase


THE officer-in-charge of the Gold Coast’s hi-tech police centre the day a teenager died in a crash following a pursuit could not see where police officers were located because he did not have a login for the map, a court has heard.

Logan Dreier, 18, died when the stolen ute he was driving flipped multiple times on the corner of Southport-Nerang Rd and Queen St about 9.30am on Friday, August 9, 2019.

He had been pursued by multiple police cars.

Queensland Police Acting Senior Sergeant Rob Finlay told the fifth day of an inquest in the Southport Coroner’s Court on Friday that he was acting as the district duty officer at the District Tasking Coordinati­on Centre (DTAC) on the day of the crash.

DTAC is a command centre that allows police to access the Gold Coast City Council CCTV to help provide support for officers on the road.

Sergeant Finlay said there was a mapping system that allowed officers to see where police cars and motorbikes were located, but there was a lag.

“You needed logins to get into specific mapping systems and they were associated to a user ID,” he said.

“Being someone who was acting (in the position), I didn’t have a login to that system.”

Sergeant Finlay also told the inquest:

• There was confusion about the location of the pursuit due to lack of communicat­ion;

• Police officers are confused about the police pursuit policy due to conflictin­g informatio­n, including a myth of a “non-pursuit policy”;

• He did not recall the communicat­ions co-ordinator (comm co) speaking on the radio during the pursuit despite the comm co being the command-of-pursuits under police policy;

• He did not recall any garbled communicat­ions;

• More “real world” training was needed for officers in pursuits;

• Refresher courses in driver training were available for police officers but “difficult to get”.

Gold Coast road policing unit officer Sergeant Ian Hayden told the inquest the police pursuit policy was confusing.

The policy allows for pursuits to occur under certain conditions. They include if it was a life-threatenin­g condition, there had been or was potential for a murder or attempted murder or an indictable offence had occurred.

When a pursuit occurs the comm co should take control, the policy says.

The comm co or lead pursuit vehicle should call off the pursuit if it becomes unsafe.

“(The police pursuits policy) is confusing,” Sgt Hayden said. “Just in relation to who your pursuit controller­s are, the conditions you can have a pursuit.”

The inquest will continue on July 28.

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