Page 1939 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013
protection of their local schools and contracted security providers to provide for targeted security patrols, particularly during school holidays.
We have also taken steps to provide for the better physical security of our schools, such as improved lighting, fencing, alarms and security patrols. The Australian Federal Police give high priority to school security and attend school sites when multiple alarms have been activated.
Ensuring our schools are used by the community after hours not only provides much needed community space but also ensures that the local community develops a sense of ownership and responsibility for the local school and acts as a deterrent to vandals and theft.
Over recent years we have also focused on combating school vandalism through the installation of security fences. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution and different schools and their communities have made different choices. It is always a balancing act to create an environment that is open and welcoming but also secure.
The installation of security fences has occurred where it is needed and agreed through conversations with the school. They not only protect schools from vandalism but provide a safe and secure environment for staff and students.
In total, 56 government school sites have full or partial security fences. Security fences have been designed to complement and enhance existing electronic security systems, community accessibility requirements and any identified heritage issues. This, together with security monitoring measures, improved lighting, installation of security mesh on windows and the ongoing maintenance of existing electronic security alarm systems have contributed to a reduction in vandalism in schools and a decrease in reported security incidents at schools.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Minister, can you highlight any indicators that show whether these measures have been effective?
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Hanson, Dr Bourke, stop. Could we restart the clock for Minister Burch please.
MS BURCH: I do thank Dr Bourke for his interest in security. The results of these measures have, indeed, been dramatic. The total number of reported incidents at ACT public schools has decreased from 300 in 2009 to 147 in 2012, a reduction of 50 per cent of incidents in these three years. The security incidents include vandalism, theft, unauthorised access and damage to schools and their facilities.
A study of incidents at 18 schools which had a full perimeter fence installed between August 2009 and March 2011 showed the number of incidents falling from 95 prior to fence installation to 38 incidents post fence installation. Over the past four years, there