Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1672 ..
… would have a flow on effect to police on the beat.
It is not just frontline, it is a whole range of services that free police up to get out there and respond and be available to the community …
We do know that police numbers are a problem. This is not something that is scaremongering. Let me now refer to what we found out in September 2013 when the ACT police chief was served with a provisional improvement notice by the ACT city beats police staff because of a lack of numbers. Let me quote from what that notice said:
The staffing numbers of the ACT City Beats Team have been universally acknowledged by the ACT Operations Committee ... as being inadequate to allow effective and safe deployment of personnel to those duties during the hours of darkness at times where the licensed premises of the CBD are in operation and large numbers of people are in and about the Canberra CBD.
By allowing a continuation of a situation where staffing levels are so low that members are constantly and continually being placed in situations where because of a dearth of numbers they are regularly outnumbered by intoxicated and aggressive people placing them at an unreasonable risk of serious injury due to violence.
So this mob opposite are quite happy for police numbers to be reduced to an extent in the—
Ms Burch: A point of order.
MR HANSON: Can you stop the clock?
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please. A point of order.
Ms Burch: Is it appropriate for us to be called the “mob opposite”? Could that be considered to be unparliamentary?
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Ms Burch. It is unparliamentary and I was about to draw that to your attention, Mr Hanson. Could you please not refer to those opposite as a mob.
MR HANSON: I will refrain from that, Madam Deputy Speaker. So only a couple of years ago, after these budgets cuts were brought in, the police were saying:
This lack of staffing levels has allowed a culture to develop where it is apparently accepted that Police can be confronted and face abusive and aggressive behaviour again elevating the likelihood of our members being the subject of unnecessary violence.
As a result of that, the much touted new group of police that were going to do the liquor licensing checks—and that was announced with great fanfare in the budget before—were then canned and rolled into the city beat. What happened essentially