Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3945 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
closedown. She estimates in the last two years she has lost $100,000 in relation to break-ins and the like. Those are scary things. Something needs to be done.
Mr Pratt talks about our community deserving better. It does, but our police force deserve much more attention from this government. They deserve a lot better; they are an excellent police force; they are probably not one of the best but the best in the country. They need a lot more assistance than they are getting. They do need better resource-management procedures. We do need to increase the number of beat police officers in Canberra.
A community policing plan would be an excellent idea because it does increase the physical police presence in Canberra's suburbs. We do need to ensure that our frontline police are properly resourced so that they can answer phones in the police station, so that they can get out and respond to crime.
That is why I think it is so important, Mr Speaker, for people to support my amendment which actually amends the government's amendment by inserting after the third paragraph the four points we want to see this government actually do to assist our police force and assist our community. If they do that, that will go some way towards making Canberra a safer place. They owe it to the community and they certainly owe it to the very fine men and women in the Australian Federal Police force.
I commend my amendment to the Assembly.
MR SPEAKER: You will have to move your amendment.
MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I formally move:
After "intelligence policing", insert:
(3A) "Calls on the Government to:
- enhance resource management procedures that ease the decline in performance;
- increase the number of 'beat police officers' in Canberra;
- develop and implement a community policing plan that significantly increases physical police presence in Canberra suburbs; and
- ensure that front line police are properly resourced and not diverted to administrative duties.".
MR CORNWELL (4.28): Mr Speaker, I will speak to the entire motion and the amendments. I think it is important that we put on record that we are not running around drumming up problems; we are not suggesting that our police force should be wandering around this territory; and we are certainly not criticising the police. Mr Pratt's motion is perfectly clear. It indicates that we are concerned about the falling quality of services provided by the police force, because they are being neglected by this government.
I was interested to hear Mr Hargreaves' comments about how well things were doing in Tuggeranong, and then the Southside Chronicle arrived. This report appeared: