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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3933 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

day. ACT policing, if you have read the paper and watched their media statements recently, have been-call it community policing, if you like-more intense in their visible presence in selected areas of Canberra. And I think that is a much more sensible approach. They have been in the city; they have been in areas where there is some element of misbehaviour late at night. That is where they have been, and I think that is where it is justified. I don't think I need to see a policeman in my street. Someone's place was broken into in my street five years ago, and that's it. That's the last I know of that.

I think intelligence-led policing, where they target people and target issues, is the much better way to go than to be wandering around, wondering, just looking and waiting for something to happen in front of them. Community confidence is fine. I think that community confidence will be so much higher when we can show crimes are being cleared up more successfully-and they are-and that response times are sufficient to satisfy this community.

Mr Speaker, I have got statistics here that I could reel out, but you can get statistics and they will get some counter statistics. I know when we were in opposition the government of the day claimed great success in certain things. Mr Quinlan was very proud of his effort when he was police minister. I think generally crime was lowest and satisfaction was highest when Mr Quinlan was police minister-in that era. I get reports now that in certain areas crime is on the increase again; housebreaking is down. But that is the constant battle that the police have with those who would engage in crime.

I do come back to that point: the effectiveness of beat patrols in suburban areas is simply limited by the large number of police that you would need. The notion of having a peeler-a bobby, if you like-on every street corner is no doubt attractive but I do not believe, in our highly mobile society today, it is a productive use of resources.

Let me indicate one area that I am in constant communication with the police about, and that's the issue of phone calls. I get complaints about unanswered phones in police stations because they are all pretty busy. Just recently the police instituted a new system at Belconnen police station where, if a call is unanswered, it switches through to another call centre so that phone will be answered. I do appreciate that, if a person with some concern rings the police-there was an issue about something at Lyons that Mr Pratt mentioned-and they can't get an answer at the other end, then that is a source of concern.

I say again-and you might tell me because this is the teacher testing you; I have had to say this many times to remember it-the general number for police attendance is 131444. People should remember that and not try to phone, and think they do better by phoning, the police station. The number is 131444. Of course, for an emergency, 000 is the call to make. The program I mentioned is, I believe, in place now at Belconnen and should commence at Woden at the end of the month. Of course Crime Stoppers is always a good number to ring.

Mr Pratt made some comments about the qualifications of police. I would want to go back and check those figures. Yes, he indicated a large number of constables or probationary constables. There have been changes over the period and in former administrations to the designation given to police; so I just want to have a look and make

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