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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2512 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: I wonder which of us is more hard line on this question, Mr Stanhope. I am not exactly a pussyfoot on this question, but Mr Hargreaves is stealing my thunder a bit. I am a bit worried. He might even rival Mr Stefaniak on the law and order issue, if last night's comments are any indication.

Mr Hargreaves: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. He is impugning Mr Stefaniak. You cannot impugn Mr Stefaniak like that.

MR HUMPHRIES: I humbly withdraw any reference to Mr Stefaniak, if that is the case. I would not wish to impugn Mr Stefaniak while he is not here. This is Labor's police spokesman who told Canberra's police before the last election that he would support the reintroduction of move-on powers. When we came to vote on the issue a year or so ago, he did not even speak on the subject. In fact, he voted against it. He voted against the Bill when it came forward.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I think the answer should only relate to the question. Relevance is appropriate. The question was about statistics. I would like to hear Mr Humphries' rendition on the statistics.

MR SPEAKER: As I understood it, he was quoting a comment which was made by Mr Hargreaves yesterday.

MR HUMPHRIES: The question was about trends in law enforcement and Mr Hargreaves' comments. Mr Hargreaves said that we need to have more police out there.

Mr Stanhope: We do.

MR HUMPHRIES: Perhaps we do and perhaps he could well be right on that subject, but the question needs to be asked: Why are there not more police out there at the moment? Perhaps one of the answers is what has happened over the last few years - in fact, over the 10 years of self-government - with respect to police numbers. I am looking here at the trend in numbers of police dedicated to ACT police services from the Australian Federal Police. Back in 1991-92 we had 618 involved in ACT policing services. Do not forget that the Labor Party came into office at that stage. Then the number dropped to 611 police. Then in 1993-94, it dropped to 600 police. Then in 1994-95, the last year of the Labor Party's administration, it dropped to 552 - from 660 at the time that Mr Kaine was Chief Minister.

If Mr Hargreaves wants to know where the police have gone, he should ask his own colleagues, because they are the ones who took them off the streets of Canberra during the early years of this decade. They are the ones who are responsible for there not being police on the streets.

The figures Mr Hargreaves was talking about were figures released yesterday by the Bureau of Statistics about how often crimes occur in the community - crimes like burglary, assault and motor vehicle theft. How often crimes occur in the community is about the prevalence of crimes. Was it not just a few months ago that Mr "lock 'em up and throw away the key" Hargreaves had before him and his colleagues a Bill in this

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