Page 371 - Week 01 - Thursday, 17 February 2011

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Drugs—cannabis seizures
(Question No 1288)

Mr Hanson asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on 7 December 2010:

(1) Given that the ACT Criminal Justice Statistical Profile for the September 2010 quarter shows that the number of drug seizures during that quarter halved, compared to the June 2010 quarter, were there any strategies or specific actions taken during this time to explain this large change in the number of seizures.

(2) Given that the change appears to be largely driven by a 65% decrease in cannabis seizures during this time, is there a specific reason behind the decrease in cannabis seizures.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Caution should be used when interpreting ACT drug seizure statistics based on a single quarter’s results. Before ACT Policing can report on a drug type or weight from a particular seizure, that seizure must first be forensically examined and identified at the ACT Government and Analytical Laboratory before a certificate is issued to ACT Police.

There is invariably a time lag between the time drugs are seized and the receipt of results of analysis performed by ACT Government and Analytical Laboratory. Drug seizure statistics can fluctuate from quarter to quarter, depending on the laboratory’s workload, priorities, and resources.

(2) The anomalous statistics for the September quarter appears to be due to the administration and conduct of analysis as opposed to trend changes in operational activities or drug consumption.

Schools—student suspensions
(Question No 1289)

Ms Hunter asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 9 December 2010:

(1) Can the Minister provide the figures on the number of students in ACT schools suspended for (a) one day, (b) two to five days, (c) five to 15 days and (d) 15 days or longer for the period (i) 1 April to 30 November 2009 and (ii) 1 April to 30 November 2010.

(2) Can the Minister advise, in the case of any suspensions in 2009 and 2010 of five days or longer, if the Department of Education and Training was advised of the suspensions.

(3) How many of the students suspended and/or their parents/carers were engaged with the Suspension Support Team between 1 April and 30 November 2010.

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