Page 1925 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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ACT Policing have been working with security at the gates of the Australia Day concert and refusing entry to young people who appeared to be affected by alcohol. As a result of this strategy, only four young people were taken into custody for intoxication, compared to the 44 young people placed in custody at the previous year’s event.

ACT Policing have been sponsoring the Multicultural Festival and working with event organisers to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents. This close partnership has helped to ensure that there were only a handful of breaches of liquor licensing regulations detected and only one minor theft reported during this year’s event.

Turning to the issue of prison admissions, in the most recent report there continue to be quarterly fluctuations in admissions, remands and committals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and youths. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander remands and committals at Bimberi increased by 27 per cent, up from 15 admissions in December to 19 admissions in March, in contrast to a low rate of admissions reported in the September 2012 quarter—five.

Admissions at the AMC increased, with 26 admissions recorded for March 2013 compared to 15 admissions in December 2012 and 19 in September 2012. This increase of nine additional people is of concern. It is a further reason why we must continue to focus on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice agreement to tackle the overly high incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. My directorate is continuing to work with the Indigenous elected body to build on the achievements of the previous agreement in a new justice agreement to drive down incarceration rates.

Finally, I will turn to the purpose of this profile itself. The Justice and Community Safety Directorate is currently conducting a review of the content and presentation of the profile. Consultation has been undertaken with relevant stakeholders to understand how useful the dataset currently in the profile is, whether there are particular datasets that could be removed, what new data could be incorporated into the profile, how the data in the profile could be better presented or made available, and what analysis could enhance the presentation of the information contained in the profile.

I am pleased to say that since the start of the consultation process on the review, my directorate has consulted with a broad range of bodies and organisations, including Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT; the ACT Indigenous elected body; the ACT Council of Social Service; the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT; the crime prevention and community safety forum; the Law Society of the ACT; the sexual assault reform program, SARP, reference group; a number of educational and research institutions; and all ACT government agencies that contribute data to the profile.

It is anticipated that the first profile of the 2013-14 financial year, for December 2013, will incorporate revised content and presentation taking into account the feedback from the review.

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