Two probationary NT Police officers used tyre spikes on the wrong car, causing it to crash and requiring the same officers to free the occupants from the crashed vehicle, sources have told the NT Independent.
The crash happened at a roundabout at East Side in Alice Springs on October 19, with one of the well-placed police sources asking why senior police would send two probationary officers out together to try to stop a stolen car using tyre spikes.
“They have spiked the completely wrong vehicle and hit an innocent civilian driving past them with the spikes,” the source said.
“The car has then, as a result, lost control and been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident where police staff have then had to assist in extricating them from their now damaged vehicle.
“When will we get experienced members back? My god, this is so dangerous.
“Our police force is bleeding from within and this stuff happens regularly but all involved are sworn to secrecy and we are threatened with out jobs if this information gets out.
“There are so many issues within our ranks it’s terrifying.”
A third source, who has knowledge of the inner workings of NT Police, but not of this particular incident, said recruits were trained in using tyre spikes at the Police College, and said accidents do happen with incidents of experienced members having spiked the wrong car before.
“It doesn’t mean they didn’t know how to use spikes, it just means they either mis-timed the spikes, or just thought it was the car of interest,” they said.
They said when the ratio is three probationary officers to one senior officer, it is bound to happen that two probationaries would work together.
“That’s not the police members’ fault, it’s the decisions from the big boys upstairs and the lack of staff that ruin it,” they said.
NT Police media manager Rob Cross did not answer questions from the NT Independent about the issue. Police media did not issue a press release about the matter at the time of the incident.