3 March 2017
Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
Crack down on police evaders
The Hodgman Liberal Government will introduce new legislation to crack down on those who choose to evade police when driving their car or riding their motorcycle.
The problem has risen to epidemic levels and police powers need to be strengthened and sentences need to be tougher.
The penalty for evading police tends to be the same as for failing to wear a seat belt – a $300 fine.
Drivers and riders who evade police often drive in a manner that provides a real risk to the community.
The legislation will amend the Police Powers (Vehicle Interception) Act 2000 to allow police to arrest anyone who they ‘reasonably believe’ has committed the offence of evading police. This means that even if someone successfully evades police, they can still be arrested at a later stage and have their vehicle clamped or seized.
The current legislation places a much higher burden of proof on the police, therefore creating an incentive for people to attempt to evade.
These changes will allow a more common-sense approach in line with community expectations while sending the appropriate message to criminals that if you evade police, you will be arrested and your car will be clamped or seized.
We will increase the penalties* for drivers who are convicted of evading police and will also consider requiring the Courts to sentence evading police separately and not in conjunction with other offences.
Police will also have further powers designed specifically to aid in the investigation of evading police offences, which include:
- The requirement for owners to provide a statutory declaration and satisfy the court, where necessary, that they have taken all reasonable steps to provide the drivers details. There will also be increased penalties for owners who fail to provide driver details.
- If an offender cannot be identified due to the registered owner refusing to identify the driver, police will be able to confiscate the vehicle involved in evading police until the driver is identified.
- Extending the time period for police to locate and confiscate or clamp the vehicle involved in the offence from 14 to 28 days.
It’s another marker in our commitment to keep the community safe, and will add to reforms already underway such as restoring police numbers to 1233 by 2018, phasing out suspended sentences, and introducing minimum mandatory sentences for perpetrators who commit serious sexual offences against children.
I look forward to tabling the amendment to the legislation as soon as possible.
*Table of changes can be found here: