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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3623..

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. It is the convention in this place that personal explanations are made after the debate. It is the contribution to the debate that disturbs me. It is an attempt to make a contribution to the debate that would otherwise not be allowed.

MR SPEAKER: You are presuming that that is going to happen. We are discussing -

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, I accept what Mr Berry says. I will do it under standing order 46 at the end of the debate.

MR SPEAKER: Very well. As you wish.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.25 to 2.30 pm


Crime Statistics

MR STANHOPE: My question is to the minister for police. Minister, a report issued last week by the national crime prevention initiative confirmed that Canberra is the burglary and car - theft capital of Australia. According to a report in the Sunday Times, a statistical comparison issued by the initiative showed that the rate of car thefts and burglaries over the past four years was much higher in the ACT than in the rest of the nation. The rate of burglary, according to the report, was up 73 per cent in the ACT; the next highest jurisdiction, South Australia, was up 9 per cent. Car thefts increased by 114 per cent.

Minister, how do these statistics justify the Attorney's claim that the AFP is successfully targeting the two areas of crime of most concern to Canberrans - vehicle theft and home burglaries? Will you concede that the AFP, in fact, is underresourced and powerless to stop the burgeoning property crime rate?

MR STEFANIAK: The answer to the member's question is terribly simple. The figures relate to the end of 1999. Since then the ACT government has spent an extra $10 million on crime fighting and prevention, including about 50 new officers in police operations. We are already seeing as a result of Operation Strikeback and Operation Handbrake significant reductions in the number of burglaries and car thefts. Basically, the police are very confident that the figures at the end of this financial year will be very different; the trends are excellent.

I might also say, Mr Speaker, that as a result of intelligence - based policing we are seeing that a significant number of offences are actually committed by a small number of repeat offenders. For example, four offenders were charged in relation to nearly half of the burglaries resolved by police since May this year, and some 20 per cent of the stolen motor vehicle offences during the period were attributed to just two criminals. The

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