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Police Numbers – Smyth earns his Keep

By cranky 29 April 2008 70

That bastion of local news and opinion, the Chronicle, has an article reporting that the sworn (real) Police numbers in the ACT are being fudged by Sonic and Co.

Smyth has uncovered figures showing our numbers of sworn Police per 100,00 is around the 180 mark. This number has stayed fairly constant for the last few years.

A quick Google shows we are seriously lagging behind the States in this equation. http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/cfi/cfi116.html

The Australian average seems to be a bit over 210/100K, with WA up in the vicinity of 240.

We are apparently paying for about 540 officers. Based on Australian figures we should have about 730 officers (pop. 350k). Split the diference and we are looking at about 630 – we do have a very concentrated population.

I can only dream of Police numbers increasing by 20/30 per 100K locally, or about 100 real, on the street, sworn officers. Much as I hate to admit it, Smyth probably has a point.

What’s Your opinion?


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Police Numbers – Smyth earns his Keep
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Spideydog 4:53 pm 12 May 08

sepi said :

Police chief was in the paper today admitting that in recent times, police have only met their obligations to Tier 1 crimes – violence, rape and murder.

Tier 2 and 3 crimes have not been attended on time as per the contract with the ACT govt. (Robberies, burnouts, graffiti etc).

This bears out what I have been saying.

He says things are now better. I hope so.

Thats not what you have been saying all along at all. You have been saying that Police are rude and fob you off and don’t send out patrols at all, to the “minor incidents”

There is a difference to “not sending patrols” “to sending a patrol, but not getting there in the time frame requested by Government” (if indeed that is true, I haven’t seen the comments made)

I think you will find that Roberries would be a tier 1 offence. “Cold” burglaries would be tier 2-3.

sepi 5:59 pm 11 May 08

Police chief was in the paper today admitting that in recent times, police have only met their obligations to Tier 1 crimes – violence, rape and murder.

Tier 2 and 3 crimes have not been attended on time as per the contract with the ACT govt. (Robberies, burnouts, graffiti etc).

This bears out what I have been saying.

He says things are now better. I hope so.

Spideydog 2:57 am 09 May 08

sepi said :

But the fact remains, when you ring them up, unless you are under immediate attack, they will do their level best to fob you off.

The recent roadbridge rockthrowers in sydney were arrested by police who happened to be passing by. In Canberra if you rang to report rock throwing they would say it wasn’t a high priority offense until someone is injured.

OMG, I’m gonna resist the urge to have a crack at these couple of corkers…..

sepi 9:34 pm 08 May 08

Canberra police do some policing – noone has said they don’t.

But the fact remains, when you ring them up, unless you are under immediate attack, they will do their level best to fob you off.

This is apparently because they don’t have the numbers to deal with minor crime (the definition of what is minor seems to get larger by the year.)

I’d rather have more police than less. Imagine if there were spare police to actually walk the streets!

The recent roadbridge rockthrowers in sydney were arrested by police who happened to be passing by. In Canberra if you rang to report rock throwing they would say it wasn’t a high priority offense until someone is injured.

smack 8:14 pm 08 May 08

I just noticed this, another example of Canberra Police being lazy and useless. Definitely worthy of a rant by Ant. How do we put up with this substandard Police service?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/08/2239324.htm

Special G 9:33 am 07 May 08

Ant – If the Police car is tailgating you then move to the left side of the road and get out of their way, they might be doing their job. If you do not do this they might just send you a ticket for failing to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle.

The majority of the ACT population is happy with Police service. Some people can never be pleased.

Spideydog 1:46 am 07 May 08

thecman said :

Ant, if the wallet was stolen from inside your car which was parked in your shed why would these alleged offenders be trying your keys out on other sheds – does not make a lot of sense to me. Anyways – were you prepared to make a statement, go to Court etc. Even if you were prepared to do this, perhaps you could enlighten me in regard to how the Polcie could ever prove these suspects were the ones that actually stole the wallet and keys from your car? I can hear the suspects story now – “we were just walking down the laneway and found these keys on the ground. We were testing them in the locks on the sheds so we could know which house to return them to” etc etc etc. In short the Police were right, the evidence was circumstantial – indeed non-existent – therefore nothing could be done except to take a report to ensure the incident was recorded. Police do not make – “we’re watching you” calls. Maybe that used to happen 20 – 30 years ago when those types of calls (occasionally accompanied by a physical reminder) were common but it does not happen now. They are ineffective, amount to harassment and the community will not accept Police behaving in that way.

Sorry Ant, this did make me laugh and is true in that sense.

thecman 9:07 am 06 May 08

OK, Ant keeps banging on about his examples of ACT Police malpractice and the fact they have not been refuted therefore he has ‘won’ the argument. I thought it might be useful to examine them and propose some alternative interpretations:

*delightful neighbours held a party, adn at one point around 11pm, poured oil on the road outside, and conducted burn-outs on it. Rang the police (this was on a sharp corner, btw, first car to hit that oil pool was going to end up in the hedge). Policeman who answered, after I’d outlined the problem, snarled “and what do you expect me to do about it?”.

Ant probably dials 000, Police answer the call and quickly realize this is not a genuine emergency but they take the call anyway. Police advise Ant they will take his report and endeavour to get a Patrol to him ASAP but there may be a delay due to high demand for Police services at that time. Ant repeatedly and rudely demands an immediate response and Police state they can only do what they can do with the resources available. Ant continues demanding and voicing his displeasure at the lack of an immediate Police response so Police officer who took the call eventually loses his patience and ‘snarls’ “what do you expect me to do about it” –a legitimate question give the officer is probably sitting in the Police Operations Centre in Winchester and unable to respond personally to Ant’s ‘life threatening’ predicament. Generally speaking Police will speak to people in the same way that people speak to them – it’s called proportionality.

*One morning just after we’d opened our Civic office for customers, a man in plain clothes stalked in, marched up to me, demanded “do you work here”? and when I said yes, he shoved this police-badge-thing literally 4 inches from my eyes, and demanded to know why I hadn’t reported someone vandalising the phone box outside, as it “must have just happened”. I was pretty stunned, and said that I entered through the back door and hadn’t noticed anyone vandalising a phone box. Then one of my staff said she’d arrived at 8am and had noticed the phone box had been vandalised. The bloke glared at her and marched out in silence.

Sorry, just does not bear any resemblance to any form of realistic Police behaviour. Ant can’t have it both ways – either Police are not responsive to crime or they are responsive. This example shows a plain clothes officer investigating a criminal damage and asking questions of possible witnesses – remove the emotional content that Ant has inserted. The Police officer approached Ant, showed his identification as required by law and asked him if he had seen anyone damaging the phone. Any says he did not see anything, another staff member says it was damaged by 8am, Police Officer leaves. The emotional language is just Ant’s window dressing and interpretation of a very normal Police / citizen interaction

*The time I noticed two guys checking every car in the Rex all-day carpark, looking for change, rang the cops, waited half an hour and they never showed up.

My favourite – how does Ant know they were looking for change – sure wish I had his degree of insight and ability to predict other’s actions. Does not appear any cars were broken into therefore no offence was committed. I accept the individual’s behaviour was suspicious but Police attendance at all types of incident is triaged against a priority response model accepted by Govt. At worst the individual’s behaviour may have resulted in a property crime occurring – property crime will always be prioritized lower then threats to individual or community life or safety. Indeed under the response model Ant’s complaint would probably have been prioritized at a priority 3 or 4 meaning Police have up to 24 hours to attend. No doubt they got there well within that time frame but outside the 30 mins Ant waited .

*The numerous times over the years I’ve been tailgated along Fairbairn in Campbell by police cars for the heinous crime of doing the speed limit.

We all get tailgated from time to time. If (and it is a big if) this has actually happened it is unfortunate but it is not evidence of an incompetent, incapable or ineffective ACT Police force. It may be evidence that some Police driver’s need to adhere to the rules they enforce and respect other road users. Given the number of Police vehicles on the road at any time I would argue that the absence of widespread complaints about this type of behaviour is indicative that tailgating is not endemic through ACT Policing.

*The time my wallett was stolen from my car parked inside the car shed at the back of our house, we found the guys walking around down teh back (seeing if my keys would open any sheds), their cars were concealed at our back gate with a kid evidently acting as lookout, we got descriptions of them, got their regos, but the cops refused to do anything, even go visit them, becuase the evidence was “circumstantial”. Our place ahs been turned over many times over the years, because these crims know, they’ll get away with it and not even get a “we’re watching you” visit from the police.

Ant, if the wallet was stolen from inside your car which was parked in your shed why would these alleged offenders be trying your keys out on other sheds – does not make a lot of sense to me. Anyways – were you prepared to make a statement, go to Court etc. Even if you were prepared to do this, perhaps you could enlighten me in regard to how the Polcie could ever prove these suspects were the ones that actually stole the wallet and keys from your car? I can hear the suspects story now – “we were just walking down the laneway and found these keys on the ground. We were testing them in the locks on the sheds so we could know which house to return them to” etc etc etc. In short the Police were right, the evidence was circumstantial – indeed non-existent – therefore nothing could be done except to take a report to ensure the incident was recorded. Police do not make – “we’re watching you” calls. Maybe that used to happen 20 – 30 years ago when those types of calls (occasionally accompanied by a physical reminder) were common but it does not happen now. They are ineffective, amount to harassment and the community will not accept Police behaving in that way.

I restate my original theory – if every interaction Ant has had with Police has been negative then it probably says more about him then it does about the Police.

Headbonius 8:48 pm 05 May 08

Ant, the only thing you won is the “Golden D*ckhead” of the year award. You made no case clearly other than you area pompous arse. If you think for one istant that having a “Senior Ex-Cop” working for you makes you an expert on Policing you are sadly mistaken. Actually I could just cut off the “ly mistaken”

Your examples of “poor police service” are pathetic, very similar I suspect to your life.

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