5 October 2022

One day, 12 arrests, as police continue crackdown on alleged repeat offenders

| Claire Fenwicke
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Motorcycling pulled over by police

A Bonython man was arrested and charged with eight offences in Fyshwick. Photo: ACT Policing.

Thirteen alleged repeat offenders have been arrested as part of a targeted crackdown.

It all started on Saturday (1 October) when Operation Toric officers arrested a 42-year-old Bonython man for allegedly riding a motorcycle with stolen plates.

Police intercepted the man after he allegedly reached speeds up to 60 km/h over the speed limit on the Monaro Highway in heavy traffic, all while it was raining.

The man was forcibly removed from the motorbike in Fyshwick and arrested. He was charged with eight offences, including driving while disqualified, drug driving, aggravated reckless driving, unlawful possession of stolen property and breaching an Intensive Corrections Order.

READ ALSO Man arrested for ‘heavily accelerating’ at police; another fined almost $2800 over long weekend

Operation Toric officers then undertook a ‘day of action’ on Monday (3 October), searching for people in breach of bail or subject to warrants.

In one instance, a 28-year-old woman and two men aged 24 and 27 were arrested across Canberra. Police said they recovered a stolen white Ford van at one of the arrests in Macgregor.

Separately, a grey Hyundai Santa Fe was stolen from Macgregor on Saturday (1 October). On Monday afternoon, police saw the vehicle on Drakeford Drive with three masked people inside.

The empty car was found in Conder a short time later. When a 23-year-old man and two 15-year-old boys approached the vehicle, police identified themselves and arrested the trio after they allegedly tried running away.

Police checks revealed the man had been placed on a good behaviour bond after being sentenced for two counts of ride/drive a motor vehicle without consent on 19 September.

During these arrests, officers uncovered suspected methylamphetamine. As a result, a search warrant was executed at a nearby residence by Tuggeranong officers and a 49-year-old woman was arrested.

READ ALSO Man found in possession of several stolen items had ‘unusually strong’ interest in buy, swap, sell online

Towards the evening, Operation Toric officers found an empty stolen red Ford Territory in Canberra City after receiving reports of suspicious behaviour involving the vehicle.

A group of teenagers entered the vehicle about an hour later and were arrested at 5:10 pm. The boys – 14, 15 and two aged 16 – were charged with traffic, property and drug offences. One of the 16-year-olds was also charged with breaching a good behaviour order.

As a result of these operations, three stolen vehicles were returned to their owners.

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Amazing how many comments on here do not have a clue what they’re talking about.
1. The ACT has the highest recidivism rate by a mile, and has for years. PC’s ROGS show it here, scroll down to Figure C3 and select all years:

2. The ACT has one of the worst jails nationally, so it’s not surprising offenders are released and not rehabilitated. Again, ROGS, go to indicator results then scroll right. Low daily time out of cells, low volunteer/community/employment, very high assault/serious assault results, both prisoner-prisoner, and prisoner-guard. The supposed drop in 2020-21 looks “out of line” (aka faked by govt, and I’m comfy claiming that given how they did the same thing with hospital data to the CW to get NPA funding, and got caught twice, and the Steve Freeman inquest…)
3. The Freeman Inquest revealed that up to 30% of ACT inmates are on ‘medication’ (aka methadone) because of stress (assaults!) or boredom (the low time out of cells and the employment), when other states are around 1%. That’s not a typo. 30% vs 1%.
4. AMC is the largest provider of mental health services in the ACT and is rubbish at it, just like the ACT is rubbish at it in the community. Corrections frequently overrule the forensics staff in case management (Chris Knauss reported on this).
5. The ACT Police are the poorest nationally at solving crime. ROGS again, this time go to Police Services, then Indicator Results, then scroll right to “outcome of investigations” (aka crimes solved) then scroll to Fig 6.9a then click all years then look at each offence. Look at each result from 6.9a and 6.9b at the same time. So for example…
6. Car theft in 2020. ACT Police identified an offender only 7% of the time, and of those 7%, only 77.2% were prosecuted (ie, 94% of car thefts were never resolved, compared to QLD missing about 64% and prosecuting 36%. It’s even worse for s-x assault, where the ACT are abysmal at solving and prosecuting.

Overall, the ACT and its offenders would be better off closing the jail and sending them to NSW. Safer, cheaper, more rehab effective, better recidivism outcomes, less future victims.

What an ill-informed rant!!

wodenresident1:36 pm 05 Oct 22

Thank you to the Police for retrieving those stolen cars and keeping us safe.

Why does the ACT have the highest recidivist rate in the country? According to the Productivity Commission the ACT has the highest percent of prisoners engaged in education services at 68.5% (the NT is 8.4%), the ACT has close to the highest percent of prisoner employment at 86.7% (Tasmania is 55.6%), and has the highest cost per prisoner per day at $528.57 (SA is $288.43). When will the Minister explain why our recidivist rate is so high, when the ACT spends more and provides more prisoner support?

wodenresident1:30 pm 05 Oct 22

Wow! So it costs $190,000 per year to imprison a criminal.

I feel like your arguement that prison is expensive and not effective is a poor arguement for expanding it.

No nobody the ACT does not have the highest recividist rate in Australia. If you have figures for that claim show me. In July 2022 the ABS released its most recent Crime and Justice Statistics. The statistics reveal that Victoria and the NT have the highest rates of crime in Australia. This is over a range of offences. While crime has increased in all jurisdictions during this period, the report states that restrictions due to Covid have impacted the level of crime. Police PROMIS statistics released in July 2022 reveal that recidivist bail breaches in the ACT have reduced by 25% since 2017-18. You appear to be critical of the positive programs the prison is currently undertaking. The prison was built in 2008 with the best of intentions, to be human rights compliant. It did not have a proper framework to be human rights compliant when it was built. No such framework exists. There is no other prison in the world that is human rights compliant because there are no frameworks to build such a prison. The ACT government has been playing catchup ever since. Jon Stanhope who was chief minister at the time and championed the prison as well as the opposition have been sniping and bitching from the sidelines ever since. Jon Stanhope has labelled the goal an appalling failure and embarrassment. I wish the media would challenge Jon Stanhope on its shortcomings and his legacy in its creation.

Every prison in Australia is human rights compliant. If they weren’t then Amnesty International would be all over them.

Jack, the recidivism rate was report by Riotact just last week, I’m sure you noticed. I’m not critical of the positive programs the prison undertakes, I’m critical of the poor results achieved by this government. Stop blaming Stanhope, he retired over a decade ago, it’s the current Minister who needs to explain why the outcomes are so poor.

wodenresident, I’m asking for the Minister to explain why the current programs cost the most yet still deliver the highest recidivist rate.

Oh to be so gullible Gary Stuart!! You’ve got me started. The statistics say it all. Human Rights Watch reports that about 50% of Australia’s prison population has a disability, whether physical, cognitive or a mental health condition. Many young children are incarcerated in adult prisons particularly in Queensland. High levels of Indigenous incarcerations and deaths in custody. Not to mention Don Dale in the Northern Territory and the terrible and hostile conditions faced by (mostly young and Indigenous) detainees. Media reporting of the appalling conditions at this prison prompted a Royal Commission. Or Goulburn’s maximum security prison where prisoners spend 16 hours a day in their cells, change cells once a month and are x-rayed after every visit. All mail and conversations are monitored and prisoners are prohibited from speaking non-English languages. In Queensland’s Lotus Glen prison prisoners are locked in small and sealed cells in solitary confinement and no meaningful social interaction for typically 22 hours or more. These are just a few of the prisons and the conditions prisoners face. I am sure there are many people in the community who would consider this treatment of our prisoners acceptable Gary Stuart but I don’t.

I prefer to rely on statistics from reputable sources nobody not some alarmist media reporting

Jack, stop trying to deflect at every angle, and just explain to us why the ACT’s recidivist rates are so high.

Didn’t you say nobody that ACT’s recividist rates are the highest in the country because you believe everything you read in the media? I say that is wrong because the statistics I have are from reputable sources (ABS, Police, National Crime Authority etc). These statistics indicate that the ACT does not have the highest recidivism rate in the country. In fact, my statistics show the ACT has very low crime rates compared to the rest of Australia. As I have stated before, the latest police statistics released in July 2022 (PROMIS no less) indicate that recidivism in the ACT has reduced by over 25% over the 5 years.

Jack, and the Productivity Commission says the ACT has the highest recidivism rate. But again, stop trying to deflect, and just explain to us why the ACT’s recidivism rates are so high.

I don’t take such a simplistic or ignorant view of law and order and specifically recidivism nobody. Law and order is broad and recidivism is just a part of the legal process. I have read the Productivity Commission report. No it doesn’t say that the ACT has the highest recidivism rates in the country. The ACT’s recidivism rates are the lowest in the country coming only behind SA. But the statistics have to be read in the broad context of how they are presented. You don’t seem to understand that. The ACT recidivism rates are declining and I don’t consider them high. Recidivism occurs all over nation. If you want to get yourself all worked up over the ACT’s recidivism rates rather than the broader context of law and order that is your problem.

No Jack, the Productivity Commission says the ACT recidivism rate is the highest at 63.4% (SA is 39.3%). They also show the ACT rate is consistently higher than all the States, and higher than the NT about half the time. The average across Australia is 45.2%. So stop with the denial and deflection, just explain to us why the ACT rate is so high.

nobody, you have such a narrow, ignorant outlook on law and order. You have found a figure in the Productivity Commission’s report into Australia’s prison dilemma that suits your narrow argument. This 2021 report made special mention of the ACT, NT and Queensland as having the highest recidivism rates in the country. However, the report did caution readers in reading too much into the figures. Measuring recidivism rates in Australia is difficult due to the differences in the way offences are measured in each of the states and territories. The Productivity Commission report also made special mention of the ACT’s throughcare model which provides continued support to prisoners for 12 months after their release and is unique to this jurisdiction. This has had results as the latest ABS Corrective Service statistics released in June 2022 reveal that the ACT has led the country in reducing repeat offending.

Sorry for the delay in responding Jack D – I have finally stopped laughing at your comments.

You read articles, you look up statistics and look down at us realists, but you have no idea about real life policing or prisons.

I suspect you spent your life as a career public servant – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I suspect that now that you’ve retired, you’re spending a lot of time watching Aunty, being inspired by the antics of Extinction Rebellion and hang up posters of Greta Thunberg. All this in between tie-dying rainbows on old T-shirts.

Leave the crime fighting and incarceration to the experts (like moi) and have a Bex and a good lie down.

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