Public has slammed Victorian police for inappropriate handling of the Melbourne rampage last Friday. A police union secretary claimed that the officers had an opportunity to act on the spot but they did not intervene in the matter. The incident took place outside Bourke Street, where a car ploughed into the pedestrians.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles said that the police officers had the opportunity to attack the alleged driver. He claimed that driver Jimmy Gargasoulas was stuck in the heavy traffic on Chapel Street from 10 am to 11:30 am. It was the best time for the police officers to attack but they did not act. The senior sergeant also stated that the officers received instructions from their senior months before the incident.
They were directed not to shoot at or rush to intercept stolen or suspected cars. A report from a media outlet confirmed the arguments of Iddles. It stated that Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp prepared an email and sent it to all officers in September. “Plan your approach and response when intercepting a stolen or suspect vehicle — time is on your side,” the report stated.
Chief Commissioner Defends Officers’ Action over Melbourne Rampage
Murder charges have been laid on the 26-year-old driver. The Melbourne rampage claimed the lives of five people while several pedestrians were injured. While Iddles criticized officers for losing the opportunity to act properly on the driver Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton defended the officers.
“Everything I’m seeing is pointing to police members just trying to make decisions on the run, split-second decisions, life or death decisions, on how to apprehend an offender. You’re in a position where you have to make those calls and make them in your best judgment and certainly these officers, everything tells me, they’re making decisions at the time around what’s best for the community and what’s going to get the best for community safety,” Ashton said as quoted by Seven Network.