Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In pursuit of NSW Police policy on pursuits.
On reading this report by Geesche Jacobsen in the Sydney Morning Herald, I was thinking the NSW Police might have had a point that some information about pursuit policy needed to be withheld under the new GIPA act on grounds that disclosure of eight of nine reasons for terminating a pursuit would compromise a ''lawful method and technique employed by the NSW Police Force … to detect and investigate contraventions of the criminal law.''
Until I googled the subject and found this New Zealand Police Review published two weeks ago Police Pursuits Policy [PDF 588KB] that includes an international literature review, and details of various risk assessment models used around the world, including in Australian states, to guide police decisions on continuation and termination of pursuits. There appear to be plenty of other published details of policy in Australia as well, including the ACT review in 2007 referred to in that article.
There is no hint of anything that needed to be censored in the New Zealand review report, and full details are included about best practice approaches (the SOWETO risk management model) taken in Australia, presumably in NSW, and the US, UK and other comparable countries.
The NSW Police GIPA decision to refuse access to parts of the policy seems unnecessarily cautious and overly defensive in the circumstances.