Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 April 2005) . . Page.. 1455 ..
DR FOSKEY: That does not mean that there should not be a police presence there at times, so the people can expect that, but I would say that we might be talking about cars being a nuisance at night there, and I am not sure whether keeping the Gungahlin police station open 24 hours a day is going to tackle the kinds of issues that Mr Pratt may be referring to. Nonetheless, I do believe that situation should constantly be under review and that the ACT government does need to be listening to every section of its constituency. But, on the other hand, I do not think it should pander to the sorts of forces that want us to be tough on crime for its own sake.
I am aware that the ACT police 2004-05 budget submission requesting further funding for ACT Policing led to a study into police resources. Apparently, this study is currently being finalised and will not be made public. I urge the government to make this document public, because I am sure that many members of the community, me included, are eager to see the results and I believe that, once we see the results of this study, we will have much more grounded statistics and evidence to argue these kinds of questions. I also encourage the ACT government to foster the approach of community policing as part of a larger solution to the ACT crime problem.
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (4.46): I rise to speak in support of Mr Pratt’s motion and I am particularly focused on paragraph (1) (b) because it is central to the concerns certainly I have in relation to the state of policing in the ACT. I think it is a fundamental point, as Mr Stefaniak pointed out, that every citizen in the ACT should be able to live in a safe community. It is reasonable to say that there should be confidence that our safety is guaranteed by a strong, responsive and accessible police force. That force should be well trained, well resourced and employ preventive strategies based on close and effective links with the community. Regrettably, it seems that we are not there and we are quite a way from achieving those outcomes.
The evidence is in the insidious creeping into the community of lower category crime, such as vandalism, graffiti and things of that nature. I get a regular number of calls from constituents who are concerned about these matters, particularly in, for example, the Weston area, where I think our Treasurer resides. People tell me that it is prevalent there in particular. Small shopkeepers who might suddenly find their building defaced over the weekend have to outlay another $600 or $700 to spray or paint over the damage that has been inflicted on their premises. Any of the members living on the southern side of the city, such as the minister for police, the Treasurer and others, going through, for example, Hindmarsh Drive, will have seen an almost unbroken line of graffiti running the length of Hindmarsh Drive from Woden as you head towards Duffy. It is quite extraordinary that this level of vandalism is occurring and nobody seems to be able to apprehend the people concerned.
There have been other trouble spots that continue to plague the community. I cited in an adjournment speech recently the area around the Woden interchange. That has been going on for years, and I do not understand why it occurs right on the doorstep of a police station. Lend Lease run that complex, but I do not know where the title begins and ends. But surely the police could deal with some of those people lingering in that area who are harassing kids. My own child was approached for money by people who did not realise she was accompanied, a few paces behind. Those people are preying on kids and annoying them for money, and that ought to be addressed. It is happening right outside