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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2608 ..

Mr Quinlan: He speaks well of you too, Dave.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Quinlan, please do not interrupt. Mr Rugendyke has the floor.

MR RUGENDYKE: No, he was also congratulating Commissioner Murray on his appointment and agreeing with me on how astute he is in focusing police work on such things as Operation Anchorage and his approach of intelligence led policing, the suburban policing program, the mounted police patrols, and the concentration on the community aspects of policing as well as the front line law enforcement issues.

One speaker-I cannot remember who-mentioned stolen motor vehicles. The increase in the recovery of stolen motor vehicles is very pleasing. Prior to Mr Murray's appointment there was a bloke named Ron McFarlane who was in the force. He is no longer in the job. He outlived his usefulness to the AFP, but his photographic memory led to the recovery of very many stolen motor vehicles. In fact, I think that skill of his was underrated by the previous management of the AFP. It is good to see that current stolen motor vehicle squads are apparently doing well in recovering vehicles.

It could also be, I suggest, that the return to specialist squads will contribute to the clear-up of crime. I refer specifically to a belief I had that the AFP may be considering a return to a juvenile aid bureau. If that were the case the police would be pouring resources into a very important area of crime prevention. The juvenile aid bureau would work closely with the youth in our society, just as they did in the past, to guide, to direct, to assist and to ensure that young people do not head down the road towards a life of crime. Of course, there will be some that do, but it is my view that with a juvenile aid bureau there is a much greater chance for a diversion from a life of crime.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is a pleasure to be able to congratulate the police on their outstanding success in what they have done, and I would encourage support for my amendment which places credit where credit is due.

MR QUINLAN (5.10): I am very happy to support Mr Rugendyke's amendment to this motion. I recently had cause to be up close to our police force in action. The treatment I received was exemplary, and I trust that that treatment is typical of the treatment that everybody else receives. I think I could also claim to a minor contribution to assisting in the clear-up rate of crime in the ACT in that I went and got their number.

I think the ACT does have a good police force, but it is not one that is totally above any criticism. That police force does not exist. A police force that does not have members with low morale does not exist anywhere either. Certainly, the policemen that I know and the ex-policemen that I know do have some criticisms to make of the police force as it operates today. Nevertheless, I think the ACT does have a better performing police force than most jurisdictions in Australia, and I think it is right to have faith in that police force; but I might say to Mr Rugendyke that blind faith is dangerous. To have blind faith is a danger.

Mr Rugendyke: Trust, blind trust.

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