Page 1438 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 6 May 2008

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lowest 12-month figure in 10 years. This is despite burglary offences for the December 2007 quarter having increased from the previous quarter.

We have also seen very significant reductions in relation to motor vehicle theft. Motor vehicle theft figures in the year to December 2007 have decreased by 19 per cent, which equates to 430 fewer motor vehicle thefts in the 12 months to December 2007. So 430 fewer Canberrans have seen their motor vehicles stolen because of the very significant work being done by the government and ACT Policing through our property crime reduction strategy.

I will make some further reference to that strategy. Under that strategy, we set ourselves targets, from 2003 to 2007, which have been set at a 10 per cent reduction for burglary and a 25 per cent reduction for motor vehicle theft. The statistical measures applied to the targets are based on the ABS recorded crime data, using rates per 100,000 of population, as opposed to just the number of incidents per se. The ABS 2007 data is expected to be published by the end of this month. But going on the reduced number of offences referred to earlier, it is expected that the strategy target reduction rates per 100,000 will be achieved.

It has been part of this government’s priority, through our property crime reduction strategy, to reduce both burglary and motor vehicle theft here in the ACT. These figures give me confidence that the government is working collaboratively with a range of agencies, most notably ACT Policing, to achieve our end of 2007 targets of a 10 per cent reduction for burglary and a 25 per cent reduction for motor vehicle theft.

These are very pleasing figures, and they give the lie to the claims made by those opposite in particular that crime is increasing. In fact, crime rates are decreasing, and have been decreasing for a significant period of time. Indeed, to achieve an outcome where we have the lowest burglary figures for the last 10 years says to me that the trend is certainly heading in the right direction. More importantly, the evidence-based approach that we adopt when it comes to criminal justice policy is achieving results. I am pleased that 430 fewer Canberrans had their motor vehicles stolen in the last 12 months. I am pleased that over 800 fewer Canberrans’ homes were burgled in the last 12 months.

Mr Pratt: Don’t claim the national trend as your own initiative.

MR CORBELL: I know Mr Pratt does not like it, and I know Mr Stefaniak does not like it, but they simply cannot dispute the statistics that have seen a very significant decrease in the level of burglary and break-and-enter. It is simply not the case, as we have heard from Mr Pratt and Mr Stefaniak, that we have a crime wave or a massive increase in the level of burglary or motor vehicle theft; nor can they assert that the government does not have a strategy to tackle this problem. Surprise, surprise: the government’s targets and the outcomes are virtually the same, which would suggest that the targets were meaningful, that the strategies have worked and that the outcomes were what we were aiming for.

This is a strong endorsement of good public policy when it comes to dealing with crime in our community. I commend ACT Policing and I commend the other government agencies that have been involved in this very important work.

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