High-tech attack on hoons
Published Sunday, 06 September, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan
Police will have new high-tech cameras, including an expanded fleet of drones to crackdown on hoons.
The new technology will add to the existing network of thousands of traffic cameras across the state.
The assault on hooning will make it much easier for police to catch hoons and to take strong action against them.
Police will have high-tech night vision capable cameras that can be deployed covertly, operated by an officer, or deployed on a drone.
Complementing the new camera technology the Government is looking to expand existing laws, including shifting the onus of proof onto the vehicle owner.
This means if the owner claims they weren’t driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, it will be up to them to prove it.
Putting the onus on the owner, would allow police to take greater advantage of the hooning footage captured by CCTV cameras.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said new camera technology would be especially valuable when police target mass gatherings of hoons.
“These changes will provide police with enhanced flexibility when dealing with gatherings of hoons.
“For example, if dozens of cars were hooning in a particular location, police would be able to use these new hi-tech cameras to capture images of all the vehicles.
“The high-resolution images would allow police to identify each vehicle, and then proceed to take action against the registered owner, unless the owner could demonstrate they weren’t driving at the time.
“The expanded laws would apply to a greater range of traffic offences caught on camera.
“An offender would no longer be able to avoid prosecution by simply masking their identities and denying they had been behind the wheel.
“There’s no apology for targeting these reckless drivers.
“They are purely and simply idiots – who are doing the wrong thing and risking the lives of others,” Minister Ryan said.
Drivers identified hooning in stolen vehicles would face theft and hooning charges.
Minister Ryan acknowledged the advocacy of Queensland Police Union General President Ian Leavers, who made strong representations to government for specific changes to the law to target hoons.
Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers welcomed the announcement.
“This is something we have been calling for.
“We at the Queensland Police Union are always reviewing legislation to ensure we have the most workable laws that can assist frontline policing and we are always recommending enhancements to the government.
“The winners with this will not just be police who will no longer have to prove who is driving a vehicle, it is also the public as this change will make police more efficient and will lead towards building a safer Queensland,” Mr Leavers said.
The Minister said the government had listened and was now taking action.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the Queensland Police Service welcomed any strategy that would help address hooning behaviour.
“Hooning is not only anti-social in its impacts on the community, but potentially life-endangering for the hoons and innocent road users.
“The community rightly expects hooning behaviour to be addressed and the QPS remains committed to targeting hoons and other unsafe driving behaviours,” Commissioner Carroll said.
These tough new tactics will complement the already harshest hoon penalties in the nation and will add to the arsenal of enforcement measures already being used by police to target hooning on Queensland’s roads:
- Intelligence-driven enforcement with covert patrols
- Monitoring of all forms of social media to take swift action
- Hoon Hotline 13HOON
- High-visibility patrols
- Dedicated Road Policing officers
- POLAIR aerial surveillance
- Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology
- Road safety camera trailers
- Thousands of traffic cameras across the state
- Police drone fleet
Media note: vision available at below link: (footage shot in Brisbane and people prosecuted as a result)
Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300
Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444