Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 October 2005) . . Page.. 3860 ..
any other forensic material that may be necessary at a particular crime scene. Mr Pratt would have us have a forensic scientist go round all of those places, the whole lot, and check them all out. Of course, we all know that on the back door handles and front door handles of every house in Canberra there is only ever one set of prints: that of the burglar! No-one else uses those handles, do they? Nobody else picks up any piece of material in those homes except the burglar! It is that easy; all they have to do is to send forensic round there and check it out.
The fact is that it is an operational decision. I have great faith in the police being able to apply forensics when needed and when they will have assistance value in the prosecution of an offender. The police have such a great record in preventing burglaries. That is where their attention is—stopping them. Mr Pratt would have us catch loads of people so that Mr Stefaniak could use our gallows. That ain’t going to happen.
It is a matter of record that our burglaries have gone down 25 per cent. Why is that? It is because people like the officers of Operation Halite have applied their talents to a range of issues. One of them is the application of material received from forensics to help target recidivists. We use a blend of forensics and prevention.
Mr Pratt: What forensics?
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt! You have asked a question. Wait for the answer.
MR HARGREAVES: So far, in 2½ minutes, Mr Pratt has babbled on for two minutes and ten seconds. I could say, “Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb” for 15 minutes.
Mr Pratt: It would make just as much sense.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt! I warn you. Mr Hargreaves, direct your comments through the chair, please.
MR HARGREAVES: I am actually talking to you, Mr Speaker. I am indicating that I could say whatever I like and he would not listen. Mr Speaker, I am quite confident that the police are applying their resources particularly well to attacking the burglaries issue. The 25 per cent reduction means that they are doing something right. The fact that Mr Pratt will not acknowledge that just shows that he is doing something wrong.
MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question. Minister, why is forensic evidence not being collected from many crime scenes due to a lack of resources, given that intelligence-led policing does rely on the collection of forensic evidence as the basis of intelligence on crimes such as burglary?
MR HARGREAVES: I wish to make two points, Mr Speaker. The first point is that I have already addressed his question but he was not listening when I gave him the answer. The second point is that forensics are merely a part of the issue. I have an enormous amount of confidence in the operational methodologies of police. Yes, they rely on intelligence, and the intelligence can be any number of things. It can be information received from the public, it can be fingerprints, and it can be the modus operandi. It can be a whole heap of things. Mr Pratt, yet again, is merely pulling one thing out of the air, calling it the gospel according to St Stephen and trotting it out as the