Page 1447 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 April 2005
the Assembly to believe that I am questioning his motives. I just believe that he was actually wrong.
Mr Pratt would propose that we have an incredible increase in policing numbers. I said somewhat frivolously recently that he would like to see each of us have our own police officer. I do not know how far out that would be but, in that sense, he is actually challenging the notion of intelligence-led policing. I have to say that I am glad that that is the process that we are employing because it is starting to bear fruit. Indeed, Mr Speaker, the notion that you could fix up crime by adding extra police officers to the beat was debunked by Dr Wedderburn in a book published in December last year. This man is a noted expert in criminology and he has said that that is not the way to go. The way to go, in fact, is to have things such as intelligence-led policing and attacks on recidivism.
This government has made a very large attack on recidivism. One program that comes to mind is the turnaround program for young motor vehicle thieves. It has had an incredible impact and some people have had vehicles restored to them. I reject the notion that police performance suffers when extra resources are not given. There is no cause and effect; there is no nexus here. We really should be thinking about the way in which policing is delivered and whether that is efficacious, not how many people are out there on the streets.
The ACT is currently reaping the rewards of a very efficient and effective police service which has continued to maintain pressure on the crime rates, particularly in terms of sustained reductions in property-related crime. Mr Pratt quite happily quotes the 2003-04 figures, which are clearly way out of date, and then puts in one or two small figures of recent times that happen to suit his purpose. He has not acknowledged, although it has been in the public arena for some time, that burglary offences are down by 21.1 per cent on the same period last year.
Motor vehicle theft has been reduced by a very substantial figure, 38.8 per cent, over the same period—nearly 40 per cent. On average there have been 38 stolen motor vehicle offences each week since the start of Operation Halite’s third phase. These figures are below the 2003-04 weekly averages. During 2003-04 there was an average of 44 motor vehicle theft offences per week. Did we see an acknowledgment of that drop in the crime rate? No. Did we see an acknowledgment of the drop in burglary offences? No. Clearly, ACT Policing is not failing our community.
Policing’s operations monitoring and intelligence support, territory investigation group and crime prevention team have worked very closely together to achieve the outcomes and successes of Halite. Operation Halite is both proactive and intelligence-led. It also incorporates crime prevention initiatives which include information dissemination, the use of drug diversion programs and support link referrals, targeting specific areas, the delivery of fridge magnets to residents, suburban letterbox drops, particularly at government residences, providing advice and requesting assistance and the placement of a Crime Stoppers bus at suburban shopping centres and government high-density residential areas. That does not sound to me as though there is a lack of visibility. Also, there are coordinated operations with other ACT Policing teams.
Halite has also recognised the need for a multiagency approach and has developed the partnership crime group. The PCG, coordinated by Operation Halite, consists of