13 September 2017
Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
Police evaders will now face tougher penalties with the Government’s strong new laws coming into operation from today.
Evading police is at epidemic levels, with incidents rising from 474 to 1790 over the last four years. The community and the police have had enough of this dangerous behaviour on our roads, and a stronger deterrent is clearly needed.
From today, penalties have been increased to a higher level that takes into account the severity of the offences and the devastating consequences they can have for innocent, law-abiding Tasmanians.
Police will now be able to arrest anyone who they have ‘reasonable grounds for believing’ 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.
These changes allow a more common-sense approach in line with community expectations while sending a stronger message to criminals that if you evade police, you will face the appropriate consequences.
Unfortunately the laws are not as strong as they should be thanks to Labor Leader Rebecca White, who ordered her members in the Legislative Council to block minimum mandatory penalties for a third offence of evading police, just like they blocked mandatory sentences for paedophiles.
The community rightly expects repeat offenders to be held to account for their actions, and this would have sent an even stronger message that consistently evading police would result in guaranteed jail time.