Page 179 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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(iii) clearance rates for property crime in Australia; and

(iv) satisfaction of people who had contact with police in Australia;

(c) the ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia to record a negative average annual growth rate in real recurrent expenditure from 2016-17 to 2020-21; and

(d) last year, ACT police stopped taking calls from the public in person for certain crimes and moved to online reporting; and

(2) calls on the ACT government to:

(a) increase the number of police to at least match per capita levels with New South Wales by 2024; and

(b) adequately resource ACT Policing to re-establish face-to-face crime reporting and investigation.

Last year in this place I moved a motion warning about and condemning the underfunding, under-resourcing and undervaluing of our police by this government. I warned of the toll it would take on our police and on our community. This year’s Report on Government Services proves every single one of those points to be correct, as measure after measure shows that support from this government is the lowest in Australia. Last year in this place I said:

… despite the fact that we have this increase in population and an increase in complexity, we have got fewer police now than almost a decade ago. In terms of per head of population that number is decreasing as well. Not only have we got fewer than other jurisdictions but we have fewer than we did previously.

Sadly, we still have the lowest number of operational staff per 100,000 in Australia—219. New South Wales, by comparison, has 244, and the national average is much higher. On funding, I said:

In terms of dollar amounts, we have the lowest amount spent per capita in Australia.

Again, that is the case. The new report shows that the ACT’s recurrent expenditure is the lowest of any police service in Australia. On clearance rates, I said:

Across the board, on the indicators reported on by the Productivity Commission, we are way behind other jurisdictions in terms of their clearance rates.

That, too, is confirmed in the current report. This year, while there have been some improvements, there have been very concerning figures relating to clearance rates for property crimes. The latest Report on Government Services shows that the ACT records cases of motor vehicle theft at seven per cent clearance, other thefts at 4.8 per cent, and unlawful entry with intent at just 3.8 per cent clearance. That means 93 per cent of motor vehicle thefts in the ACT are not cleared within that period, the lowest rate in Australia; 95 per cent of other thefts remain uncleared at that mark, the lowest rate in Australia; and 96 per cent of cases where a person unlawfully enters a property with intent remain uncleared, the lowest in Australia.

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