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Independent Review of the AFP Urgent Duty Driving and Police Pursuit Guideline Review 2007 (the internal AFP review)

NCJ Number
Alan Cameron
Date Published
July 2007
84 pages
The study provides an internal Australian Federal Police (AFP) overview on guidelines for urgent duty driving and pursuits.
The overall conclusion of the internal AFP review was that the AFP Guideline is comprehensive, explicit, and appropriate. Police pursuits constitute an important public safety issue as well as law enforcement issue. The international and Australian research is remarkably consistent in its findings across time and location. Research shows the pursuits are relatively rare in police work, but when they occur, they typically are of short duration, arise as a result of a minor offense, and usually end without adverse incident. Accidents and escapes occur occasionally; however, injury and death are infrequent occurrences. There is a world-wide movement toward more restrictive pursuit policies. However, there is considerable dispute as to how detailed and prescriptive the policy should be. Most authors conclude that allowing the individual officer relative autonomy in the decisionmaking process (under the direction of clear guidelines) is a more sensible approach then implementing a restrictive and prescriptive policy. There is wide-spread agreement in the literature in calling for better on-going training for officers as well as more severe penalties for those who flee from police. The overview provides several recommendations for revision of the reviewed current guidelines. Bibliography, appendices