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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3069 ..

Mr Kaine: I am glad you fessed up. I thought he was talking about me.

Mr Hargreaves: He was. I was just protecting you.

MR HUMPHRIES: Perhaps you can all confess and be arrested.

MR SPEAKER: Perhaps they could all leave the room, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: Indeed, Mr Speaker. On 6 November, 17 new AFP members graduated from training. These new recruits are lateral entrants, that is, they are all experienced police officers. They are all highly qualified, most of them have tertiary qualifications and all have considerable experience in law enforcement. At least one also has postgraduate qualifications and another has an honours degree. The experience in policing of the graduates ranges up to 12 years. One is actually a former AFP member who resigned in 1997 after 10 years' service. Three of the 17 recruits are former members of the AFP. Obviously, people like that require no further training.

Before they were selected to enter the AFP on lateral recruitment, they were all assessed for core competencies. They were then given an induction into the AFP. The other 14 - that is, those who were not already AFP officers - were trained in a five-week training course to qualify them for policing duties in the ACT. That training included evidence management, police powers, crime scene management, common offences in the ACT, practical assessments of crimes such as assault and street offences, domestic violence, mental health, deaths, firearms and safety training principles, integrity and dispute resolution.

Mr Hargreaves: How many?

MR HUMPHRIES: How many what?

Mr Hargreaves: How many went through that course?

MR HUMPHRIES: There were 17.

Mr Hargreaves: On that course?

MR HUMPHRIES: Sorry, 14 went through the course. The other three were previous AFP officers and, naturally enough, did not require any training in issues of the kind I have just read out. They will also receive training in traffic duties later on. Each of the members serves a 12-month probation and operates in a buddy system with a more experienced Canberra officer. I think anyone looking at that would fairly say that the training and the background of the officers concerned are appropriate and more than adequate for the responsibilities that go with operating in the ACT component of the Australian Federal Police. Mr Hargreaves saw fit to denigrate those new members by suggesting that they were inadequately trained to operate on the streets of Canberra.

Quite apart from an opinion about these matters - an opinion which was not shared, for example, by the AFP Commissioner, Mr Palmer, who very quickly issued a rebuttal to assertions - I think it is unfortunate that we see - - -

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