Failing to Comply with Police Directions in NSW

A dramatic incident has taken place in South London which left a police officer hospitalised and a lorry driver on the loose.

The scene unfolded in the Lambeth district on Good Friday when officers from Metropolitan Police were forced to request the driver of a yellow and black Ford Transit tipper truck to stop after they noticed the manner in which the man was driving and damage to the vehicle.

Nevertheless, despite making their direction clear, the officers were met with a shocking retaliation which saw the lorry driver snub the stop order and instead reverse at high speed into the bonnet of the police car, before speeding away from the scene.

What resulted was a crushed police vehicle, labelled as “significant” and “causing extensive damage” according to a statement, while one police officer to be hospitalised due to severe injuries to his head and hands.

It is understood another officer was assessed at the site by paramedics.

Fortunately, he was found to not have any injuries requiring treatment.

According to the Metropolitan Police, while a search of the area was carried out, given the tipper truck absconded at such a high speed, it could not be located.

Now, they are appealing to the public to help find the driver that rammed into the marked police vehicle on Landor Road and urging anyone with information to come forward.

In a statement released a few days later on 18 April, it was noted that authorities clearly indicated for the Ford truck to stop due to a damaged mirror and the way the person behind the wheel was driving, suspected to be dangerous.

“The truck is yellow and black in colour, with a damaged mirror on one side,” the statement says.

“The registration is believed to be FA04 UZW although the F is missing from the rear number plate.”

An investigation is now underway to track the vehicle down for failing to comply with directions from officers.

A clip of the incident was also shared on social media, which reveals the shocking moment and the high-speed getaway.

It is understood the police officer who required hospitalisation has since been discharged.

When Are Police Allowed to Stop a Vehicle?

Is a police officer allowed to stop a vehicle on a road in NSW? In NSW, under section 36A of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002, a police officer has the power to stop a vehicle if the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the driver or a passenger of a vehicle is committing or committed an offence.

Situations in which police may stop, detain and search a vehicle without a warrant where an officer reasonably suspects the vehicle:

  • May be involved with dangerous driving
  • Is suspect of containing stolen property
  • Is in a public place and is suspected to contain a dangerous item such as a gun or bomb
  • Is suspected to contain a prohibited drug or plant. 

The Law on the Failure to Comply with Police Directions

In NSW, failure to comply with directions by a police officer is against the law, pursuant to section 39 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.

Section 39 states that a person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail or refuse to stop a vehicle the person is driving when directed to do so by a police officer.

Additionally, a person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail or refuse to comply with any other direction given by a police officer.

Any breach of these laws attracts a maximum penalty of $5,500 or 12 months in jail, or both.

Here is more information on police powers in NSW.

By Sahar Adatia.

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