Police call for changes after Melbourne tragedy

If Friday’s tragedy in Melbourne angered or upset you, then you’re certainly not alone. The actions of driver Dimitrious Gargasoulas, which
Footage of the driver who killed five people driving recklessly before the tragedy has been broadcast across the world. Source: YouTube.

If Friday’s tragedy in Melbourne angered or upset you, then you’re certainly not alone.

The actions of driver Dimitrious Gargasoulas, which led to the deaths of five people – including a 10-year-old girl and three-month-old baby have outraged us all.

Many of you have called for action to be taken to stop something like this happening again.

While the Victorian Government is set to review bail laws in the wake of the tragedy, some police personnel are calling for more changes to be made.

They say Victoria’s ‘no-pursuit policy’, which bans police from chasing an offender unless there is a threat to public safety, needs an overhaul.

It turns out officers were pursuing Gargasoulas in the hours before his rampage in the city, but were told to stop.

One veteran police officer has gone so far as to tell the ABC that the families and friends of those killed and injured have “every right” to question why police didn’t do more to stop Gargasoulas.

“The no-pursuit policy is a disgrace, it’s cowardly,” he said.

“There was ample opportunity to stop him in the two hours before he reached the city, but the order was not to pursue.

“If it was my family that had been impacted I would be very, very angry.

“Victoria Police has known that this was always a potential problem with the pursuit policy. This was always going to be an outcome of the pursuit policy.

“As an organisation we have let Victorians down.”

There’s certainly been an angry reaction by many on social media, with some people questioning why the police didn’t do more to stop this tragedy from happening.

Another officer told the ABC that police are told if an offender has been identified, the chase is called off and they track the person down.

“There are dozens of pursuits called off and nothing happens, but we don’t have a crystal ball so we never know,” he said.

“It’s the first time this has happened, but it won’t be the last.”

But the actions of the police on the day have been defended by Victoria’s chief of police.

He described their actions as “rock solid” and said their decisions were made in “the interest of public safety”.

What do you think about this? Should police have pursued the driver? or do you believe the police did all they could?





  1. I believe the police saw him doing the burnout so at the station, why could they have not put a bulletin into his tyres???

    • John Flynn  

      I believe this technique is used in many countries.
      The police carry a machine gun in their car and shoot the tyres.
      Chases are quickly brought to an end.

  2. Joy Harding  

    A lot depends on the circumstances as to whether the Police could have stinger trapped the felon, as we the public do not know how densely populated the area was that the pursuit had been taking place in beforehand, also as to whether they could they have used firearms to shoot out the felons vehicles tyres. The Police were following orders as per the Act. The Police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t and the general public need to think of the thoughts of those officers involved in this catastrophe; they are human beings who do the best they can in difficult circumstances.

  3. Mary  

    I can sympathise with the police. I think the problem started long before then, the man should NEVER have been allowed bail in the first place with his history. If he has a mental problem he should be under restraint not allowed to walk the streets. The one who granted him bail will have this on his conscience. Where are the laws to prevent this happening again? If they are there why are they not being enforced. When the arresting officers know what a suspect is like why are their opinions being ignored. No wonder they lose hope and trust in the legal system.

    • Patricia Rocke  

      I agree Mary…when police oppose bail, the Court should damn well listen. Same happened with Monis

      • Ellie Webb  

        I too,agree,Mary. The courts should be guided by the recommendations of the arresting officers,
        but also have a duty of care to the general public!! How many innocent lives have been lost to reoffenders
        and people out on bail? Those innocent victims gone forever,while the perpetrators live to see another day.
        The law & the courts, are an ass!!

        • John Flynn  

          I suspect part of the problem is the jails are already overcrowded so the judges are releasing people to ease the problem. The government must build more prisons and keep these animals off the streets !

  4. Bruce Taylor  

    Police powers have been corrupted in the interest of so called civil liberties and rights. The people to blame for this tragedy are those who campaigned for and are responsible for those changes.

  5. Willie Vanderbrink  

    There should be limits to pursuits, but not in cases of this nature where there is a risk to the public from the criminal GREATER than the one offered by the pursuit of the police department.

  6. Ken McCarthy  

    I agree with Bruce, as far as I am concerned there are Laws which are in place to protect people, property and the environment. People know it is illegal too break them. Breaking them is a choice! If you choose to break them then you should have no rights…the end!

  7. Val McMaster  

    Why should the police be scapegoats for those who make stupid laws that have nothing to do with public safety? Why are criminals like these granted bail in the first place?

  8. Yvonne Barnett  

    When are they going to get it right, these people are drug effected causing them to have a phsycotic episode. To cause pain and injury. You can’t simply say they have a mental illness and allow them back on the street….the police have to deal with these people every day. They don’t know if they are going to make it home to their families because of the violence. This has to change…

  9. Greg  

    Pity the policeman that shot him wasn’t a better shot, he should have hit him in the head instead of the arm. That miss will cost us thousands in court costs, appeals, then in keeping him in prison for the next 50 years.

  10. Tim  

    If this had been in the states, he would have been shot dead hours earlier.

  11. michael gibson  

    what ever the out come lets stand by our police there hands are tied.

  12. I cannot understand how this sad individual wasn’t apprehended days before the tragic event on Bourke Street Mall.
    There were plenty of opportunities. How can the people feel safe when drug addicts and persons suffering mental health issues are given all the rights, and police powers have been slashed. Wake up people running the judicial system, your laws are not working for the safety of the community.

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