Mother, son, men charged after three-hour police chase
A woman, her son and two men have been charged after a three-and-a-half-hour police car chase in Perth ended in a crash in the city at peak hour.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan congratulated police over their handling of the incident, saying innocent lives could have been lost.
The alleged offenders, aged 15 to 49, were arrested on Wednesday afternoon after the allegedly stolen Range Rover appeared to be boxed-in or surrounded by four vehicles in West Perth.
The chase started about 2pm when police spotted the red SUV travelling north on Kwinana Freeway near the southern suburb of Bertram.
Officers activated emergency lights and sirens and attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver kept going.
A police helicopter monitored the vehicle as it travelled through multiple metropolitan districts, relaying information to officers in 36 police vehicles on the ground.
The chase came to a stop about 5.30pm when the Range Rover crashed into several cars, including a police vehicle, on busy Wellington Street in West Perth.
Mr McGowan said the alleged offenders had "risked the lives of innocent people".
"Inexplicable shocking behaviour by people to go around the place and do that, " he told reporters on Thursday
"People could have been killed ... police did what they had to do and I support them."
The incident comes after the WA Police Union last week called for its members to avoid high-speed pursuits until the force's intercept policies were reviewed.
It was triggered by a police professional standards division investigation into the actions of 26 officers involved in a pursuit last December that the unions says involved the "boxing-in" technique.
The union wants officers to be trained in the use of the technique, which it says is not included in the force's intercept policies, and better legal protection when doing so.
It also wants heavier police vehicles that are the equivalent weight of a large four-wheel drive.
Acting union president Paul Gale said he was not sure if the boxing-in technique used by officers to stop the Range Rover was authorised by police command.
He said it could have been used earlier in the pursuit to stop the vehicle.
The Range Rover, allegedly stolen on Friday, has been linked to a number of incidents across Perth over the past week, including stealing, burglary and traffic offences.
A 33-year-old man has been charged with seven offences, including stealing, reckless driving and stealing a motor vehicle. A 27-year-old man was charged with six offences, including possessing a prohibited drug, trespass, stealing and stealing a motor vehicle.
They were refused bail to appear at Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday.
A 15-year-old boy was charged with two counts of assaulting a public officer and one count of stealing a motor vehicle. He was refused bail and is due to appear at Perth Children's Court on Thursday.
A 49-year-old woman was charged with one count of stealing a motor vehicle and is due to appear in the Fremantle Magistrates Court on March 21.