Page 5364 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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ACT Policing’s commitment to operating in partnership with the rest of the government can be found in its work with the liquor industry and ORS to reduce alcohol-related violence and antisocial behaviour.

While the ACT is a very safe place to live in, like all communities, we experience crime, crime which affects everyone in our community. It affects individuals, it affects families, it affects the whole community. The results achieved by ACT Policing are important to acknowledge, particularly when they can make a positive impact on our community’s perception of crime. Minister Corbell stated recently:

Perceptions of crime are important. Perceptions of community safety are important. They are important not just from a statistical perspective, but they are important because they impact on a community’s wellbeing. If people do not feel safe, even if that feeling is not necessarily entirely based on evidence, they are less likely to participate as broadly as they otherwise would in the community.

Our acknowledgement here today of the outstanding performance delivered by ACT Policing for the Canberra community will make a positive impact on people’s perception of crime. As the Chief Police Officer acknowledged recently, there is a gap that occurs between good operational performance and community perception of crime. One way to address this is to tell the community about these good results. As the Chief Police Officer said, “You can have the best police service in the world, but unless you are telling the community about it, you are only doing half the job.” Let us in this place draw attention to this great police service we have here in the ACT and the positive impact they are making on driving crime down in our Canberra community.

The government’s support of ACT Policing is comprehensive. The government works hard to engage with the community and ACT Policing to develop strategies and initiatives to continue to fight crime. A key way this is done is through the crime prevention and community safety forum convened by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. The forum is tasked with identifying and prioritising crime and safety concerns and reporting to the government on aspects of community safety, on aspects of crime prevention and on law and order issues. The forum plays an important and pivotal role in driving crime reduction strategies and initiatives, with an emphasis on whole-of-government response to those strategies and initiatives. The forum is currently developing the ACT property crime reduction strategy for 2012-15, which will provide a whole-of-government focus which builds on and cements the good work done by ACT Policing.

ACT Policing’s results show a convincing downward trend across a range of crime types, as I have outlined. This, along with the forum’s cross-government approach and community focus, takes us even closer to meeting the government’s vision for a safer Canberra.

I congratulate members of our police service, and let us not forget the support provided by the volunteers in policing. Our police service deserve our thanks and congratulations on a job well done. The work undertaken by our law enforcement officers is not an easy one. It is often difficult and may be dangerous. Every day they work to make this city a safer place to live in, and I would trust all members in this place would support this motion.

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