Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 February 2022) . . Page.. 190 ..
Programs and models in the ACT, such as the community-based police services model, the proactive intervention and diversion team, and the Police, Ambulance and Clinician Early Response program—PACER—are all excellent examples of the government’s commitment to community safety and to delivering long-term, meaningful outcomes.
As this Assembly knows, I am a strong supporter of the ACT’s community-based police services model. I believe that it is through programs such as this that we will see a reduction in crime. This model ensures that we have a more visible, proactive and connected police service, one that has strong relationships with our community and is trusted and approachable.
The model combines approaches across technology, equipment and resources to deliver a long-term strategic investment in ACT Policing and in our community. Its effectiveness is proven in countries that include Scotland and is based on principles of proactive action rather than being reliant or predominantly focused on a reactive or response-oriented approach. These latter approaches require greater numbers of police. However, I am more interested in tackling root causes and looking to bring an end to systemic issues of crime within our community than just dealing with crime as it occurs.
PACER is yet another excellent example whereby ACT Policing direct staffing resources effectively to achieve a community safety outcome. It benefits those in our community who are most vulnerable, particularly those with mental health concerns.
Where police would traditionally be the first responders to a mental health call-out, the PACER program provides a paramedic, clinician and police officer all working together to attend call-outs which require a mental health response. I congratulate the ACT government on looking for root causes and finding innovative solutions which are cost-effective and provide more robust, holistic and long-term outcomes.
I look forward to seeing continued positive outcomes for the various proactive community-based policing services in action. I also want to see investment in youth and social welfare programs, and community and sports facilities, to get to the real heart of crime prevention. I commend Minister Gentleman, ACT police and all emergency services staff on the critical work they do in our community.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.58): The opposition will not be supporting Mr Gentleman’s amendment because it does away with the evidence and ignores the frontline workers and what they are saying. We will not. The contribution from those opposite illustrates the problem—the way they have their heads in the sand and cherry-pick the evidence.
I think the comments from Mr Braddock were bizarre, to say the least. He asserted that my call for more police was an easy, common-sense solution. I would agree with Mr Braddock. He rejected it. He said we should not be doing easy, common-sense solutions. He thinks we should be doing something else. Some of the things he listed actually were very worthy. I do not disagree with many of the initiatives that he proposed. On top of that there is this easy, common-sense solution.