Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3347 ..
The President of the AFP Association said on ABC Radio:
A lot of members had to be re-directed from investigation type works to go and do more covid work and covid compliance checks. If we could redirect some of those members from those compliance checks back into investigation team and some of those other crime teams to keep that momentum going. Some of these crimes are things people have been working on for months if not years to get to a resolution.
Minister, how many investigations were put on hold, delayed or deferred while investigating officers were directed to COVID compliance?
MR GENTLEMAN: I want to again begin by thanking our ACT police officers who continue to demonstrate a high level of commitment and dedication in response to COVID-19, as Mr Cain has indicated. Like all organisations, ACT Policing is having to manage resources appropriately, something they have been planning to do since last year. When significant police operational support is required in response to any emergency, ACT Policing implements previously prepared business continuity plans to ensure it can continue to manage its workforce, work places and systems as well. So every day ACT Policing prioritises calls for help to ensure police support is directed to incidents that require immediate attention.
Our police officers are incredibly capable and resilient and are being asked to work differently and flexibly. ACT Policing continue to consider all precautions to protect members and their families as much as possible as well. Policing remains alert to any increased risk and is equipping our members with the information and equipment they need.
It is important at this time that everyone takes care of themselves as well, their families and one another. I am advised that the welfare team—
Mr Cain: A point of order, Madam Speaker, my question was: how many investigations were put on hold, delayed or deferred whilst investigating officers were directed to COVID compliance? Please answer the question, minister.
MADAM SPEAKER: He is answering the question. It is in order. You may not like the answer, Mr Cain, but that is not the point. Anything else to add, Mr Gentleman?
MR GENTLEMAN: No.
MR CAIN: A supplementary. Minister, what are the natures of the investigations that were delayed, deferred or put on hold? A specific question.
MR GENTLEMAN: I leave the operational command of ACT Policing to ACT Policing. I do not interfere with their operations on the ground. That is the appropriate step for a minister to take—to support them where we can, as I have supported them in every budget that I have been involved with so far. I have increased their resources to give them the operational flexibility—