Thanks to ocelotbob's rather good writeup above, I don't need to clarify what a high speed chase is, but I will say that in Australia the police are not commissioned by the local council, they are enlisted on a state/federal level, and hence there is no changeover of authorities at city limits. However, this writeup does not deal with that, but an event which will affect the way high speed pursuits are conducted (In this country, anyway).

Melbourne noders may be familiar with this story, but node for the ages...:
Right, according to all news reports I can muster; On the 19th of June 2002, police pursued a Ford EA Falcon at speeds of up to 120kph (about 80mph), which they believed was stolen, after reports that cars were being broken into in Glen Iris. After about ten minutes, the car ran a red light and police called off the chase, fearing casualties. Roughly six or seven minutes later, they spotted a car which may have been the same Ford Falcon and flashed their lights, whereupon the car sped off. The police did not give chase, and three minutes later the car was in pieces on someone's front lawn after crashing through a pole and their fence. The car was driven by an 18 year old, and contained four other people, two of them 18, and the other two 17. three of them died, one was seriously injured.

Now there is a police inquest into high speed pursuits. The police are in trouble again.

This from The Age:
"In Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs police are pursuing a souped-up sedan but quickly abort the chase to avert a catastrophe.

Twenty minutes later the car is outside the local station with the motor revving, the driver baiting the police for another chase.

The car speeds off and police give chase as the offender ignores a series of red lights. Again the pursuit is aborted as the sedan barrels through one of Melbourne's busiest intersections. It is not late at night but the tail of evening peak traffic. Only blind luck stops a major collision.

Damn, I'd commit crimes, except I don't think my car could make it to sixty - not much of a high speed chase.

Personal opinion:

Now I'm not the most law abiding citizen around (yay, my police record finishes at the end of this year), but I'm definitely with the cops on this one. If we were living in a Mad Max style world, the outcome would be a good result and the police may be chided for not chasing more. Fortunately/Unfortunately, we are not living in an alternate 1980's where cars are the most important thing around and police vehicles are 1973 Ford Falcon GTs. My opinion will not be popular, but in a world where pro-lifers can drop propaganda into my letterbox, I'm sure I can state myself on E2.

If you:
  • Steal a car,
  • Run from police,
  • Can't drive the car even when there is no one chasing you,

  • then you deserve to have your internal organs connecting the speedometer needle to the door handle. If some little fucker stole my car, I'd wish them a fiery death, even if it was my car on fire.