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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 3859..


Crime—statistics

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, can you advise the Assembly about the latest September quarterly criminal justice figures and what they mean for the Canberra community?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question.

Mr Stefaniak: Did he give you some pictures too?

MR SPEAKER: Order!

Members interjecting—

MR CORBELL: Isn't it great? A third of the page is taken up by the headline. I have never seen a media release like it! I want to see one where the headline takes up the whole page and then there is a second page for the text. I can't wait for that one!

With respect to Mr Gentleman's question, I am very pleased to advise the Assembly that the latest criminal justice figures released by the government show that a range of criminal offences in the ACT continue to fall. In fact, we see the lowest recorded level of crime in a range of categories for the last five years. They reflect the lowest year-to-date figures in five years for burglary, sexual assault, motor vehicle theft, property damage and weapons offences. I repeat: the lowest figures in five years.

It is very pleasing to see the results that have been achieved against a backdrop of resource-intensive policing in the capital. Of course, it has been aided by the fact that this government has put in place funding for an additional 107 police in the ACT—the largest contribution ever made by an ACT government. In real terms, the impact on the community should be very reassuring. The September 2007 results mean that there were over 1,000 fewer households that encountered a burglary compared to the same period last year. So 1,000 fewer households have been burgled because of this significant drop—this 21 per cent drop—in the number of burglaries recorded over the last 12 months. At the same time, motor vehicle offences fell by 17 per cent in the year to September. This represents 382 fewer cars stolen here in the ACT.

Mr Pratt: There's nothing left to burgle.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pratt.

MR CORBELL: These are very significant statistics. It is disappointing that Mr Pratt, who is the shadow minister for police, does not give higher regard to the work of ACT Policing.

The number of sexual assaults is also down. They have reduced by five per cent. Property damage has fallen by six per cent, and weapons offences have also fallen by five per cent. These are some of the best crime statistics we have seen for many years. They are a vindication of the government's efforts to improve resourcing for ACT


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