Page 4688 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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MR GENTLEMAN: I understand that it will be as soon as other materials can be found to replace the PE panels.

Crime—crime rate statistics

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, we have had eight instances of suspected outlaw motorcycle gang activity in the ACT during 2017. The ACT police annual report shows that calls from the public to ACT police are up by 16.7 per cent, robbery offences have increased by 53 per cent, motor vehicle theft has increased by 26 per cent and arson is up by 12.4 per cent. The Canberra Times reported that international students feel unsafe in Woden town centre and that it is identified as a problem area. Why have serious crimes increased in the ACT in the past 12 months?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Jones for her question. There is, of course, an increase in crime statistics over years. That is why we provide ACT police with extra resources to combat serious crime. In regard to criminal gang—OMCG—activity, we have invested very heavily in Taskforce Nemesis, and the results are showing: police are making arrests; and they are putting people in front of the courts who are being convicted. That is what we want police to do, and that is why we are providing them with the extra resources that are necessary.

MRS JONES: Minister, why has the ACT government allowed the situation to deteriorate so much in the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Jones for her supplementary question. Crime statistics go up and down over the years and we invest as much as we possibly can to combat that situation. Police do a fantastic job, I think, with the resources that we give them. As I said, the results are there and the proof is in the arrests and the work that the ACT police have done. I will continue to support them and I will continue to go in to bat in budget cabinet for more resources for ACT police.

MRS KIKKERT: What confidence, Minister, can ACT residents and international visitors have that crime will not continue to rise in the ACT, and how are ACT Policing engaging with international students now and into the future?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I have indicated, the ACT is not immune to fluctuations in crime rates. The government and ACT police continue to respond to changes in the crime environment as needed. You have seen that response most recently in the incident that has been raised. The data in March 2017 in the criminal justice statistical profiles indicates that there was little movement in crime rates in the ACT in the past 12 months. Total reported incidents have increased by 0.4 per cent. The number of offences has increased by only 0.5 per cent. Total apprehensions by ACT Policing have increased by 6 per cent. So you can see that the work that ACT police are doing in comparison to the total incidents reported and offences reported is well ahead in the statistics.

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