Remnants of the stolen car after Burwood fatality. Picture: Nine News/Today


It was a needless and shocking fatality, avoidable on a number of levels, and probably would have had more significant consequences had the thieves not taken a top-end car with all its advanced safety features to protect them, but not the innocent and hapless victim.

This needless loss of life is the direct consequence of a government ignoring advice, and unfortunately, the trajectory the government is on will only increase the risks, not mitigate them.

The government response was reported as:

A state government spokeswoman said what happened at Burwood was an unthinkable tragedy.

“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the man who lost his life,” the spokeswoman said.

Details about the incident are still being investigated and we are in close contact with Victoria Police. We are confident police will apprehend those who are still on the run as quickly as possible.”

She said Victoria had more police on the beat than any other state of territory and that the force targeted the worst young offenders, making 2700 arrests in the past year.

This statement attributed to a spokesperson is heartless and disrespectful to the victim and insulting to his family. We are not sure how the thoughts of the government can be with the Victim’s loved ones when they don’t even have the courtesy to use Ash Gordon’s name. However, the revelation in this statement should worry every Victorian when the spokesperson bragged of the 2700 arrests in the past year.

Again and again, this government ignores the simple concept of prevention, which is the only tried and proven way to stop this growing crime tsunami.

Arresting offenders is essential, but it will not reduce crime as the perpetrators are as inane as their actions. Still, they believe they won’t get caught, so the whole concept of deterrence is lost, exacerbated by the current judicial practices that obviously fail miserably to address the real issues.

The CAA has long argued that there are mechanisms that have been tried and worked in the past that could be reintroduced. A serious investment of money and resources into provocative policing is required to stem the tide.

The problem is set to become much worse as the government processes its latest effort, the Youth Justice Bill.

This 1100-page Bill that took five years to write doesn’t herald any innovation but is an extension of all the bad aspects of the current system. All the current flaws are further entrenched.

So, more of the same, only worse. More people will die, and more lives will be ruined, including devastating our young, because the government is focused on an unproven experimental concept, Restorative Justice, which nobody can indicate where this process has worked.

The government’s current and future strategies do not deal with diverting young people from crime.

Unbelievably, their new Youth Justice Bill regularly mentions diversion as one of its central planks. However, that is not a diversion from crime but from the legal system.

The two concepts are not mutually inclusive; they are different and seek different outcomes, which, in our view, are counterproductive objectives. Under the government’s new Bill, when a child commits multiple offences or a series of offences, there is no intervention or effort to have the child accept accountability or be subject to consequences. The Bill aims to put the child through a series of meetings and conferences, assuming that will solve the problem.

The recommendations of the CAA would have gone a long way to avoiding this tragic situation. See:

A necessary and effective process of reducing the crime associated with cars is to ensure the vehicle, when stolen, can’t be used for the crook’s intended purpose. Take away their tools of trade; in this case, the stolen car, and the crime of Aggravated Burglary and car theft will plummet. Moreover, there are a raft of other serious crimes that stolen vehicles are currently used in commissioning; this initiative will curtail overall criminal activity. Crooks may have to resort to public transport or Uber.

An upgraded and relocated (within the vehicle) G-Tag could replace the E-Tag and perform that function to enable authorities to turn off the car, thwarting the crook’s ability to use the vehicle for criminal activity, including driving recklessly.

There will also be a perfect chance the car can be recovered intact, a blessing for those of the lower socio-economic strata, and the reduced losses of vehicles should reduce insurance premiums to benefit us all.

A number of cars already come with this capacity, and the owner can activate the disabling function; however, this assumes that the crooks didn’t take the victim’s phone and the victim is in a state to make sound decisions. Totally temporarily disabling the car at the wrong time could cause more significant risks to the community.
Imagine if a car was disabled at speed on a freeway without warning; this would cause carnage. With control of this resource by authorities, the vehicle could be monitored and disabled safely. With the owner having control, the consequences for their partner driving the car during a domestic dispute could have disastrous consequences. See:

One problem the government has is being briefed by people who are not in touch with reality. The government was recently given a confidential briefing on youth-related matters only to have the staff from the Justice Department responsible for writing strategy for the government complain that the presentation was too graphic and stressful.

It is interesting how the victims of this crime may view this sensitivity, and it goes a long way to show that those drafting government policy are out of touch with the reality of the issues, perhaps living in a bubble of fantasy. Given some of their recent contributions, fantasy appropriately categorises their efforts. Unfortunately, the tragic death on Tuesday involving a stolen car is a portend of more to come. Lives are wasted by inaction. See:

It is fast heading in the direction that the only option for Victorians is to demonstrate against the Government’s direction as it is not only ruining people’s lives now living in fear but also ruining the lives of young Victorians coerced into crime.

The first action is to sign our petition at:

Then contact your local member of Parliament and make your views heard.