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Wednesday 23 February 2022

The WA Police Force’s restrictive driving policies are not only limiting Operation Regional Shield’s effectiveness but also endangering the safety of WA Police Union members whom the agency has deployed to tackle crime in the Kimberley.

That’s the view of Mick Kelly, President of the WA Police Union, after he received footage of Monday’s latest car-ramming incident in WA’s northernmost region, an event in which a Kununurra youth used a stolen vehicle to attack officers.

“The video is in equal parts disturbing and embarrassing,” said Mr Kelly, who last week spent two days in the Kimberley meeting frustrated union members.

“The WA Police Force’s intercept driving and tyre deflation systems policies have become so restrictive they don’t enable our highly trained members to resolve incidents such as those in the Kimberley that have made headlines recently.

“On Monday in Kununurra, our members were told to tactically retreat after a stolen car refused to stop. Later, the same youth used the same vehicle – a full-size utility fitted with a large steel bull bar – to chase our members for several minutes, attempting to ram their police car not once, not twice but three times.

“The WA Police Force has committed more officers and operational assets to crack down on crime in the Kimberley, but its own policies are handcuffing our members who require greater flexibility for Operation Regional Shield to succeed.”

Established in 1912, our membership consists of more than 7,000 police officers, police auxiliary officers and police cadets from all over the world’s largest single police jurisdiction, which covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres. We act as a passionate advocate, lobbying for better conditions and protections on behalf of our members to whom we provide services. We believe there’s strength in unity.

Mark Worwood on 0479 187 970 or media@wapu.org.au.