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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3459 ..

(2) How much funding is allocated to crime prevention programs in the current (2003-04) ACT Budget;

(3) How much funding is allocated to crime prevention programs specifically for children/juveniles in the current (2003-04) ACT Budget;

(4) Do our police officers visit our schools on a regular basis to teach them about the consequences of crime, if so, how often, if not, why not;

(5) Are there any plans to increase the number of crime prevention programs operating in the ACT, in particular for juveniles, if so please provide details, if not, why not;

(6) How much funding is allocated to the Kenny Koala program in the ACT and is this more or less than in (a) 2002-03 and (b) 2001-02;

(7) How often is Kenny Koala 'out and about' speaking with children in Canberra;

(8) Can the Minister provide the most recent statistics of juvenile crime in the ACT and if possible a breakdown of juvenile crime on a suburb by suburb basis, if not, why not.

Mr Wood

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) This government strongly supports crime prevention initiatives for young people. We believe that crime prevention is a responsibility that cuts across all government agencies and the broader community - it should not be seen as the sole responsibility of the police and criminal justice agencies.

Recent ACT research reinforces what we have suspected for some time - that it is a relatively small number of persons, including younger persons, who are responsible for a disproportionately high percentage of our crime. What this tells us is that we need to be smart in identifying these people earlier, and concentrate resources on those most at risk.

While not wishing to diminish the harm that falls upon young people involved in crime and the harm done to their victims we should remember that most young people in the ACT make substantial positive contributions to their community.

While the government has a designated crime prevention budget set up in the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJACS) portfolio, the initiatives funded under that budget are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all of the programs that quite rightly fit into the category of crime prevention. For example, it can be argued that good schooling is good crime prevention, that good health care is good crime prevention, that good housing is good crime prevention, and that good sport and recreation programs are good crime prevention.

Apart from the programs funded under the DJACS crime prevention budget there are significant other programs, either already established or being developed, that aim to reduce the involvement of young people in crime and that are funded from other agency budgets.

Examples of those already established and not funded via the DJACS budget include: