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Pressure to bring in chase laws
Liza Harvey. Picture: Astrid Volzke/The West Australian

Police Minister Liza Harvey has refused to detail controversial and complex laws that could result in anyone convicted of a new crime of evading police facing a mandatory jail term.

Yesterday’s double fatality involving a car that was involved in a high-speed chase reignited debate over the laws.

Pursuits have long been controversial but the issue gained momentum after a police officer was charged over a crash that claimed the life of Dianella mother Sharon D’Ercole in April.

The issue was the top priority at the WA Police Union annual conference in June, where officers threatened to ban pursuits unless the State Government acted to give police legal protection in chases.

Mrs Harvey said she planned to introduce the laws into State Parliament next week.

“I’m not going to go into the details of the legislation,” she said. “If it’s introduced next week, there is sufficient time with bipartisan support to get this legislation through Parliament.”

Shadow police minister Michelle Roberts said she did not believe mandatory jail would be appropriate in every case.

“We need to see the detail, this is something that has been a hot topic of discussion since June of this year,” she said.

WA Police Union president George Tilbury said lives had been lost and action was needed to avoid further tragedies.

“If the Opposition supports the proposals that the Government will put forward next week I have no doubt the legislation will go through,” he said.

The West Australian

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