Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 February 2018) . . Page.. 271 ..
We have been working with ClubsACT to directly support them with identified officers from the criminal taskforce. Indeed, the investigations by the taskforce have been very fruitful in regard to these activities. I understand that there are a number of persons of interest who are ready to be arrested and prosecuted. Police have been working directly with ClubsACT. We have met with them and we intend to meet with them again to ensure that we can provide the support that they need. We have also had ACT police advising on the safety of their staff. So we have been looking not only at the criminality of these matters but also the safety of club staff, advising clubs on how to ensure the safety of their staff.
MR COE: Minister, how many perpetrators have been arrested and how many have been successfully prosecuted for these robberies and attempted robberies in the past 12 months?
MR GENTLEMAN: I do not have the detail in front of me of the number of arrests and prosecutions, but there have been a number. I can come back to the chamber with the exact number. Of course, there are ongoing investigations. I do not want to jeopardise those investigations either.
MR PARTON: Minister, has inadequate funding for ACT police affected their ability to respond to violent crime?
MR GENTLEMAN: Certainly not. We have invested heavily in ACT Policing. We have increased funding for ACT Policing. We signed a $161 million contract last year, of course, and an extra $8.8 million went into ACT Policing to ensure that we can respond to criminal activity of this kind. As I said, police are responding. There are investigations in place. They have results on the board already.
MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, I refer to the robberies of the Capital Chemist in Waramanga on 15 January this year and of Subway Manuka on 1 December, the Calwell Woolworths on 10 October and the Holt 7-Eleven service station on 6 October last year. This comes on top of at least 22 of our local clubs being the target of violent robberies and break-ins in the past 12 months. Minister, why has there been such a noticeable increase in robberies and break-ins in Canberra?
MR GENTLEMAN: Robberies are cyclic. They go up and down year to year. What I can advise the Assembly and the ACT community is that the 10-year trend is going down. So police have been effective in addressing criminality in the ACT and, as I said, the trend is going down. We support ACT Policing. We support their members on the ground doing the best job they can for the safety of all Canberrans.
MRS JONES: Minister, what steps have you taken exactly to protect hospitality and retail workers and small business people from violent crime?