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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3429 ..

Since February this year there have been no aggravated robberies against licensed clubs in the ACT. This is because ACT Policing have been taking action. Mr Coe just does not understand; either that or he is cherrypicking his facts. Numbers need to be in context, and you cannot just pick the facts as you like. Spikes occur from time to time in categories of crime, but you need to look carefully to see if it is a long-term trend or a temporary increase. It is often the case that, given the relatively low crime rate in this city, these spikes occur because of a small handful of individuals.

As I have said time after time, we live in a relatively safe city, but we are not immune to crime, which is why ACT Policing do a very important but practical and difficult job.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what steps have ACT Policing taken to tackle aggravated robberies?

MR GENTLEMAN: Often the best work of ACT Policing goes unseen. However, in recent weeks ACT Policing has been able to show how successful a force they are. Through a strategic, targeted and methodical approach, they have been able to apprehend individuals associated with a number of aggravated robberies across Canberra. Because of data, analysis and hard work, police have been able to link a number of historical crimes together. This has paid dividends.

Last Friday ACT Policing issued a press release about one individual who had been charged with six charges relating to aggravated robbery and burglary, with offences dating back to 2010. The day before, ACT Policing announced that another individual had been summonsed with 22 charges, which included charges for aggravated robberies from 2009 and 2018.

As the police noted, this was a good result, but only the beginning. To quote from the ACT Policing media release from 17 August this year:

The operation remains ongoing and ACT Policing’s Crime Disruption Team are investigating a number of leads.

MS ORR: Minister, why is it important to strengthen ACT Policing’s strategic analysis capabilities?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for her interest in community safety, too. It is very important that police have the strategic analysis capability to target crime and identify risks. This can also help prevent crime from occurring and deal quickly with emerging issues. This capability is something that the Chief Police Officer spoke at length about during her appearance before the estimates committee. I encourage everyone to look carefully at that evidence. This capacity also helps front-line officers and improves their effectiveness.

The government, in the most recent budget, provided $2.6 million to expand ACT Policing’s capacity. I am confident that this investment will help keep Canberra one of the safest cities in the country as we grow.

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