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Crime clearance rates the lowest in Australia

By johnboy - 12 July 2006 20

Visitors to Canberra often remark that they never see police. Those of us who’ve had to report a traffic accident can attest that even if you walk through the doors of a police station and up to the front counter it’s a rare thing to see a police officer (one normally comes out if you wait long enough).

The Canberra Times today has a doom and gloom story on the state of Policing in our crumbling Territory with the lowest crime clearance rates in the country.

We do, however, have a new new policing agreement which Simon Corbell promises will fix things.

The ABC reports that the new numbers are still going to be below the promised national average. They also have a completely un-intelligible piece of plod-speak from Commissioner Keelty on the subject of looting ACT Policing for the foreign deployments beloved of the Howard Government.

“What we’re also doing is minimising the impact of deployments to places like East Timor and the Solomon Islands by not drawing so much on ACT policing resources until such time as the national side of the AFP can provide additional resources to the ACT to draw upon that, so we’re keeping the numbers.”

UPDATED Bill Stefaniak has put out a media release (mysteriously dated 7 November 2006) pointing out that the year late agreement is being based off a two year old review and reduces the targets the police are being asked to meet.

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Crime clearance rates the lowest in Australia
VYBerlinaV8 2:35 pm 12 Jul 06

So how does one conduct an arrest? Is there a special phrase you are supposed to use? What part does physical restraint play? Will the cops care when they eventually turn up?

Master_Bates 2:32 pm 12 Jul 06

JTK – That is exactly the line the bloody coppers want you to take. Best to solve the problem once and for all and keep the courts free for the real offenders.

simto 2:31 pm 12 Jul 06

It ain’t really that complicated, Batesy. Check particularly Sections 3Z and 3W (for purposes).

As long as you believe your civillian arrest is necessary for any of the following reason:
– ensuring the appearance of the person before a court in respect of the offence;
– preventing a repetition or continuation of the offence or the commission of another offence;
– preventing the concealment, loss or destruction of evidence relating to the offence;
– preventing harassment of, or interference with, a person who may be required to give evidence in proceedings in respect of the offence;
– preventing the fabrication of evidence in respect of the offence;
– preserving the safety or welfare of the person.

Googling that took me about three minutes. Stick it on your wall if you like, and quote it in court.

James-T-Kirk 2:27 pm 12 Jul 06

Master – Isn’t that a little dangerous? Surely you should try to involve the police. After all, they are the professionals?

Master_Bates 2:26 pm 12 Jul 06

Special G –
The Crimes ACT – What a wonderfull piece of B.S. If you dont obey it dot point by dot point as a civilian, you are in a world of pain.
Far better to hoe into the burglar with a baseball bat, and drop him off into the Stromlo forrest, than mess with trying to play cop for a day.

VYBerlinaV8 2:08 pm 12 Jul 06

I’ll get to carry a gun, right? Or perhaps a baseball bat with iron spikes sticking out if it? Cooooool!

Irongeek 1:59 pm 12 Jul 06

A friend of mine has been through the whole intake process twice now and is once again on hold for starting his training. Apparently no new police officer courses are due to start till 2007.

The last time his when through the intake process he waited 4 years and by that time he had to do all the application stuff from scratch.

People want to become police officers in this city but they are not being trained.

Special G 1:53 pm 12 Jul 06

SamT – Go out to the airport and have a look at the AFPPS officers out there. They look like the Police. I was at the airport this morning and saw one. The only difference is the small Protective service embroidery on their epaulettes.

VY – read up in the Crimes Act how you can arrest someone as a civilian.

seepi 1:51 pm 12 Jul 06

ABC has a story about hte [police union saying they are unhappy with these numbers of police for Canberra. They have another piece with Chief Audry Fagan saying things are fine. Seems she is more of a mouthpiece than anything else…
So how can we get more police????

SamTSeppo 1:44 pm 12 Jul 06

Visitors to Canberra often remark that they never see police.

True dat. I couldn’t describe an Australian police officer to you if my life depended on it.

Thumper 12:58 pm 12 Jul 06

Not to mention that Mr Hedgehog thinks some criminals are actually the victims….

VYBerlinaV8 12:31 pm 12 Jul 06

…and yet, if you are the guy caught hanging on to the thief with your stuff, you are the one who will get done. Inspirational stuff.

ant 12:04 pm 12 Jul 06

One big problem is, it’s open slather for thieves. And they know it. Thefts are left go, it seems. It appears to be so hard for the police to convict anyone, that they don’t bother unless the thief is caught with the stolen stuff in their hands. So the thieves can basically get on with it. I see this as a huge failure of policing in the ACT.

VYBerlinaV8 10:46 am 12 Jul 06

Another high quality outcome…

Chris S 10:37 am 12 Jul 06

There are two parts to all this. First is the raw crime rate itself, which is apparently up by 92% since 1990. The public is not allowed to know what is happening within their areas, as the crime stats are being censored. As Bill Stefaniak said in a media release on Saturday, he:

“… expressed concern that the ACT’s Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) web-site appears still unable to provide the community with crime statistics, despite recent assurances by the Chief Police Officer that the issue was being addressed.

“Mr Stefaniak said the admission during Estimates Hearings that the statistics could be seen to be “alarmist” seemed to indicate the Government was afraid the figures could be used to benchmark the failure of its policing policy.”

That’s the first issue – how effective Police are in preventing crime in the first place, part of which is engaging with the community.

The second one is about the effectiveness in clearing up crime when its been committed. There appears, according to the report, to be large backlogs where incidents are simply not being investigated. As many RA correspondents have noted, when they report crimes there does not appear to be any real desire by Police to respond. Perhaps it is lethargy, perhaps it is lack of resources, perhaps it is the way in which they “triage” certain crimes. Whatever it is, the public are becoming increasingly disillusioned by the capacity of the Police to either prevent crime, or to bring the culprits before the courts.

I don’t think this agreement will make any statistically significant difference to anything at all. One reason for that view is that there is no commitment to engaging with the people they are supposed to be serving – the public. And that commitment has got to come from the top (Police Minister and Police Chief), not become the responsibility of the troops on the ground (although they have a major role to play).

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