Common sense in other jurisdictions - a constable's discretion would have been sufficient in my day.
We used to take the mickey out of colleagues at the Academy who'd try to anticipate every single scenario and get policy guidance on it. One great old and bold sergeant would often answer with "Was there a low flying duck overhead at the time?"
These poor buggers get so wrapped up in bureaucracy it's not funny. I remember my justification for the use of a firearm off by hear, "A member shall not discharge a firearm at or towards another person except where the use of a firearm is not out of proportion to the mischief sought to be prevented....."
Would have covered the recent Melbourne incidents I'd have thought.
Victoria Police has today released details of a new policy that will empower officers to take decisive action in the event of a hostile vehicle attack.
The hostile vehicle policy will support police officers’ use of all tactical options to stop an attack, including the ability to ram offending vehicles, use roadblocks, box the vehicle in or, as a last resort, shoot the offender.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said this is the first time Victoria Police has included such explicit guidelines in a force-wide policy.
It is also the first time any Australian policing jurisdiction has released a specific policy on how to respond to a hostile vehicle attack.
“These attacks are fortunately not a regular occurrence; however, we must be prepared in case they do happen,” Deputy Commissioner Patton said.
“We know hostile vehicle situations can escalate quickly and there is a very real threat that people can be killed or seriously injured. We have seen this here in Melbourne”
Deputy Commissioner Patton said Victoria Police consulted extensively with The Police Association and is confident the new policy will provide clarity to officers on how they can respond to these situations.
“Protecting the community is our number one priority and by releasing this policy we are trusting our officers to assess the situation and act accordingly.
“In fact, the new policy explicitly states the expectation of our police that they must take action to prevent death or serious injury.”
The hostile vehicle policy does not replace the current pursuit policy, although there may be circumstances where a pursuit evolves into a hostile vehicle attack.
This policy empowers police to take the appropriate action in these circumstances and provides officers with authority to act.
To support the new policy, a new training package will be rolled out to ensure police are aware of their options and associated risks so they can make rapid decisions.
From mid-December, police officers will undergo a compulsory online training package where they will work through a number of scenarios.
From 1 January 2020, they will then receive face-to-face training as part of their OSTT qualification.
It is expected all operational officers will complete this training by 30 June 2020.