Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 20 October 2022) . . Page.. 3423 ..
change the way that police operate around the city so that they are more responsive to crime. They are out there, on the beat, with extra technological resources so that they are not stuck behind a desk in a police station but are out on the beat, supporting community and responding to issues that are raised by the community.
MR HANSON: My question is directed to the acting police minister. Minister, despite your assertions, the AFP annual report shows that motor vehicle theft is increasing in Canberra at a rate far exceeding the national average. It shows that almost 1,500 cars were stolen over the past financial year, and over 500 in the last four months alone. That is double the national average, and the problem seems to be increasing. Despite the best police efforts, with available resources, they can only do so much. Minister, what impact does having the lowest number of police and the lowest funding per police in the country have on motor vehicle theft?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. Working with ACT Policing, we are guided by their advice in relation to their operations. They have launched operation TORIC to directly respond to the issue of motor vehicle theft around Canberra. We are responding to that with ACT Policing, and continuing to talk with them about the resourcing that is required, as well as the policy and legislative reform that is required to address this issue.
We know that there has been some recent case law that has come out around motor vehicle trespass issues, and the use of circumstantial evidence to prove crimes in that area. We are looking at how we can respond through legislative reform, as well as the work that is underway in my traditional portfolio of Transport Canberra and City Services around penalties.
Mr Hanson: I have a point of order. I know that Mr Steel is talking to a bunch of issues about motor vehicle theft, but my question was specifically about the lowest funding for police in the country, and the impact that that has had on what is double the national average.
MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order. The Minister is responding directly to the question.
MR HANSON: I have a supplementary question. Beyond talking about resources, what actually is the government going to make available to address this growing problem.
MR STEEL: I have mentioned the resourcing that provided through previous budgets, so I refer the member to those measures, which continue on in the budget that was supported by our side of the chamber this week, but not his—the work that we continue to do to implement the new policing model, which will see more resources out on the beat, using the latest technology, particularly in police vehicles, to enable them to work on the road rather than having to go back to the office all the time and be stuck behind a desk. So, there is a range of different measures underway, including the operations that police have using their existing resources, which have been growing through budget investments that we have been making, like operation