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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2597 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

task force and developed profiles with regard to the modus operandi and the actual burglars.

This resulted, Mr Deputy Speaker, in 233 offenders being charged and a total of 1,469 charges being laid. Operation Anchorage reduced burglaries in homes throughout the territory by 24 per cent and decreased stolen motor vehicles by 29 per cent.

Despite this remarkable achievement, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Stanhope, and the Labor Party continue to use outdated figures, and only last week Mr Stanhope made the statement that Canberra is still the burglary capital of Australia. I challenge the Leader of the Opposition, in light of the AFP ACT Police statements that home burglaries and stolen motor vehicles are now down by 24 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, and that crime in general has decreased by 12 per cent across the board, to stand up here today and tell us why he is misleading or misinforming the public of this territory. Or does Mr Stanhope think the police are lying? If that is the case the Leader of the Opposition should come out and say so. Why shouldn't he say that he is misleading or that he does believe that the police are lying? Do not slither around with petty references. Come clean.

The same can be said to Mr Hargreaves. Do not go on about crime and talk up doom and gloom one day and then next day tell the police they are doing a great job and slap them on the back. Tell them the situation and they will respond, as they have in this case. You have to make a decision. Either the police are doing their job and crime is decreasing, or they are not. If, like us, you think that the police have done a commendable job and have put considerable effort into crime prevention, then come straight out and support them rather than undermine them at the expense of the community which they serve.

I believe that the Chief Police Officer, Mr Murray, should be commended, and so should all the police officers who took part, not just those who took part in Operation Anchorage, but also the front line troops. The staff who back them also need to be commended.

We must move forward to make this community a safer community. Let us not rest on these numbers. Let us keep up the pressure through our policing, and let us not forget that a good police force is only as good as the community it serves and give it the information it needs. Let us get behind our police force. Let us not take a lead from Mr Hargreaves and say one day that they are doing a bad job and the next day pat them on the back and say, "You are doing a pretty good job." Let's come clean and give them the resources and the credit where credit is due, Mr Deputy Speaker. I look forward to the support of this house for this motion.

MRS BURKE (4.24): Mr Deputy Speaker, the ACT Liberals' approach to crime has been proactive and positive and is successful. A recent Australian Bureau of Statistics publication clearly shows the ACT had the lowest rate of crime against the person in the country for the year 2000. This includes the most dangerous and heinous crimes of murder, sexual assault, attempted murder, and manslaughter. The same publication ranks the ACT well below the national average with regard to driving causing death, assault, kidnapping and extortion.

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