Alleged Geelong West police car ramming duo charged

Published by Geelong Advertiser on 2 October 2019

A 24-year-old man accused of ramming a police car has been charged with more than 50 offences.

The man, of no fixed address, was charged with offences including burglary, theft and exposing a police officer to risk by driving and has been remanded to appear in Geelong Magistrates’ Court next year.

His alleged co-offender, a 19-year-old woman, was charged with 11 offences including theft of motor vehicle, burglary and theft and has been bailed to appear at court next year.

Police claim the duo were spotted in a Geelong West car park when they tried to flee the scene in allegedly stolen car before into a police vehicle on Tuesday.

The alleged ramming comes days after a senior police officer said rammings were becoming more and more common.

In a separate incident two teens were arrested last week after a police member was struck by an allegedly stolen car in Bell Park.

“These rammings are becoming a bit of a trend,” Geelong Insp Bruce Thomas said on Thursday.

“We are concerned about it and we are looking at ways to stop it.”

Yesterday the police union secretary Wayne Gatt said the association was concerned by any incident that puts members in danger.

“Rammings have the propensity to both endanger and injure our members physically and psychologically,” Mr Gatt said.

“In recent years we saw this alarming behaviour spike to a point where our members were being rammed three times a week.”

Under new legislation introduced in April 2018 offenders found guilty of ramming a police car can face up to 20 years in jail.

A government spokeswoman said the legislation ensured “cowardly individuals”who compromise police safety would face serious consequences.

“It’s unacceptable that the people who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe could be intentionally injured — or worse — simply by doing their job,” the spokeswoman said.

“We won’t tolerate this kind of reckless behaviour — if you injure a police officer or emergency service worker, you can expect to go to jail.”

Mr Gatt said mandatory sentencing legislation was an “important reform” that acted as deterrence to would-be offenders.

“Any attack on our members, be it through direct physical violence or car rammings, is unacceptable. “