Communities frustrated with crime have been warned not to take the law into their own hands.

Superintendent Glen Pointing strongly cautioned the community against any form of vigilante action, saying it almost always ends in unintended consequences..

"I can't explain why they were ­following that car, but that's what the investigation will try and determine," Supt Pointing, one of the most senior police officers in Townsville, said.

When asked about his advice to would-be vigilantes, he said "we would strongly advise against it".

"We give the same advice all the time," Supt Pointing said.

"Police work has to be done by the police. We are trained to do it.

"There's a number of factors you have to take into account when you're trying to deal with offenders, particularly in stolen cars."

Emergency services on scene at a fatal crash on Ross River Road, Kirwan. Jennifer Board was killed in the crash. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Emergency services on scene at a fatal crash on Ross River Road, Kirwan. Jennifer Board was killed in the crash. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Supt Pointing said the primary concern of the police was preserving the community's safety.

"People shouldn't take the law into their own hands in terms of trying to apprehend these people," he said.

"In the first instance they should call police and we'll do everything we can to help them."

Supt Pointing said vigilantes could face serious criminal charges - such as murder or manslaughter - if it was proved they caused someone's death.

"You can be found responsible for the accident and, if someone died, you could be held responsible for that, possibly," he said.

Superintendent Glen Pointing. Picture: Matt Taylor
Superintendent Glen Pointing. Picture: Matt Taylor

Take Back Townsville leader Julianne Wood rallied for locals to demand action at a memorial for Jennifer Board yesterday.

Ms Wood told the crowd she knew it was time to stand up when she heard about the crash. She said the city had said "enough is enough".

"If we knew this was going to happen, it should have been fixed beforehand so it wasn't going to happen," Ms Wood said.

Originally published as Frustrated communities told 'vigilantism never the answer'


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