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Police Numbers – Smyth earns his Keep

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.

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.

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70 Responses to Police Numbers – Smyth earns his Keep
ant ant 11:48 am 05 May 08

Shrug. I think I made my case quite clearly, while many of the counter camp can do nothing but sling insults. I gave examples, the counter camp sling more insults. The counter camp claim I must be some kind of criminal element, I state my background to refute that…. counter camp slings insults. If that’s the best you can do, then my argument is won. People who think insults are an argument simply show that they haven’t got a case.

cranky cranky 11:00 am 05 May 08

Coincidence? A two page spread in the same paper extolling the virtues of Neighbourhood Watch and Safety Houses.

“We can keep the Police numbers down if you clowns would just pull your weight”

Special G Special G 8:02 am 05 May 08

Anyone who makes mention they are a taxpayer therefore demand certain respect from govt employees has lost before they even start.

Hi I’m a taxpayer – slave take my report, be polite and shine my boots chop chop what ho old chap.

Special G Special G 7:59 am 05 May 08

It’s slow news days in the Crimes with things like this article that promt this sort of post.

Confessions of a burgler – is it telling us anything we don’t know. The only time he wasn’t breaking into houses was when he was in gaol.

As for Ant – you come across as a pompous arse.

minime2 minime2 6:26 am 05 May 08

All govt depts – learned at TCH -triage their jobs. Police go to important (?) stuff. But if you want them to come to a break in or such, just call and tell them you have a baseball bat and are “going to take the law into your own hands” … they definitely do not like anyone doing their job. Not that they would take to anyone with a baseball bat…

Spideydog Spideydog 11:33 pm 04 May 08

+1 andy pandy

Headbonius Headbonius 9:11 pm 04 May 08

Pandy!!!!!! Public Education? Are you employed? Can you look at yourself in the mirror? Are you fit to lick Ant’s boot laces?

Glad to hear someone positive about the ACT Police on TRA. A nice Fu*king change.

It is morons like Ant who whinge and whine becuase they didn’t get the service level they expected / demanded from the Police – you caqn just envision what a tool he would be towards the Police and their obvious reaction to his snobbery.

andy pandy andy pandy 8:17 pm 04 May 08

I have to say I have a great deal of respect for ACT police(and all other australian police forces I have had dealings with) Allthough canberra born and bred I have spent 5 years living the washington DC (a city with far more significant crime problem than canberra, and can be a genuinely dangerous place) and due to where I worked had numerous dealings with various police forces, I would have far more faith in our cops than any of theirs when it comes to professionalism and just general good policing.

When I was 20 I had a car fire (due to a mechanic fitting the wrong size fuel line) upon calling 000 an AFP cop was there in less than 30 sec. ( I was not in any danger but could easily have been) the fireys arrived within 1.5 minutes. After everything was sorted out I was given a lift to work in the police car, top marks to the emergency services.

I have on occasion witnessed some cops being rude/short but there is not a profession i have dealt with that does not contain at least some rude p*%$#s. And quite often this might be down working in a high stress environment, even my good self has been responsible for the odd bit of rudeness.However I have definately witnessed a hell of a lot more floggs be rude to cops just for the sake of it .

I have received 2 speeding fines from ACTs constablary, both deserved (both under 15km over but speeding none the less) and I if I have done something wrong I am adult enough to cop the consequences. These were given to me in a professional manner, no complaints here.

I have on numerous occasions witnessed with my own eyes and ears people make up complete BS about there treatment by police, and while not all police are perfect, they are working in a profession that is doing more good for society than 99% of us.

Finally I have learnt even with my meagre PUBLIC education (it is a miracle I have avoided a life of crime), that people with unrealistic expectations will rarely be happy.

Thumper Thumper 6:30 pm 04 May 08

Actually, we probably don’t need more police, instead, we need courts that impose sentences in line with what the community expects.

Seriously though, I’d be happy with more police on the beat.

Thumper Thumper 6:28 pm 04 May 08

Totally agree, more police and don’t bulldoze the Weston CIT campus (more on that later…)

Headbonius Headbonius 4:41 pm 04 May 08

Ant, TheCMan has some very wise words of wisdom for you. You should take heed but I suspect the old adage applies to you “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”

Also, anyone who feels the need to justify themselves with “I’m a Canberra local, I’m private school educated, I’m old, I’m not the kind of person who has much dealings with police, and I’m sorry to say that every dealing I’ve had with police in this town has been very disappointing, if not surprisingly unpleasant. ” sounds like a right pratt who would annoy down to earth people no end. Who gives a toss if you are private school educated? Please explain what difference this makes. Who gves a shit if you are old! FFS – get a life, stop bothering the police with trivial shit and go and live in NSW.

Spideydog Spideydog 12:18 pm 02 May 08

Oh yes, I nearly forgot, give us more Police damn it…

Spideydog Spideydog 12:17 pm 02 May 08

ant said :

…. and once again, I give actual examples, while the “how dare you knock the police” crew (Spideydog and DJ) make vague opinionated statements attacking without countering. I’ve given examples of poor police performance… where’s your actual examples to counter that? Calling me names doesn’t quite cut it. Saying “the courts are full of people they’ve caught” is promising, but doesn’t deliver.

You may not like what I’m saying, but throwing mud and insults when someone’s come up with examples is weak. Being able to shout louder doesn’t win you an argument.

“The courts are full of people they’ve caught is promising, but doesn’t deliver”………………..OMG nothing is good enough for you, is it?

If I remember correctly, you are the one that got aggressive and started calling names FIRST when someone stated a differing opinion to you, so don’t go throwing that arguement at me “Pot this is Kettle”

How many times do I have to tell you…. “I am not, and HAVE NOT countered your “examples” deliberately, because I can’t verify if they are actually true or in the correct context that you have presented. (I am not saying they are untrue also) I am not going to discuss something I was not involved in and therfore cannot verify it’s validity. In the same context, I wouldn’t state all he good things Police have done, for the same reason, noone here knows if I am telling the truth, the whole truth or in the right context, I’m an anonymous internet user in a blogger for heaven sake, besdes if I was to put down all the good things that police have done, I would be here all day 😉

Policing is not perfect and I never said it was, My only arguement with you was, It’s not as bad as you make it out to be. I think I’ve made it fairly plain and simple.

And yes as stated above, if these examples of yours did occurr, I hope you reported them, they can’t fix something, they dont know had occurred.

Anyways, I think we have had both our sides well and trully explored and I for one will let this one go to the keeper….(sigh of relief from crowd..he he)

Thanks for the discussion kind sir.

smack smack 11:38 am 02 May 08


I agree we need more Police and am not happy to settle for the bare minimum. What I am saying is, in my opinion, with the resourse and Police numbers they have, ACT Police do a good job. Its the ACT Council that need to increase the numbers. So Police response times and visibility is a resourse issue that needs to be addressed. The way the individual Police go about their jobs is something that I am happy with.

Tooks Tooks 11:25 am 02 May 08

I think a lot of people underestimate just how many serious incidents occur in Canberra at the same time. Whilst there may be several burglaries waiting for police to attend, there may be assaults, domestic disturbances, drunks harrassing people at shopping centres, car prangs and any other numbers of incidents that would require a higher priority response, including shoplifters (if the offenders are caught by shop staff).

Burglaries aren’t urgent unless the offenders are still there. Makes sense? As for noise complaints/parties..I imagine they are attended to if time and resources permit.

Your examples of experiences with police are shockers (if they haven’t been exaggerated etc) and would warrant a complaint I would’ve thought. How are you going to make them accountable otherwise?

AG Canberra AG Canberra 10:20 am 02 May 08

DJ and Smack (sounds like a techno band)make decent arguments but are missing the point – why can’t we demand enough police to attend when we call?

Are we happy for “minor” burglaries to take hours to properly report, are we happy for parties at 3am not being attended to….

Can policing be better in Canberra? Of course it can.

So lets put the pressure on our toy government to give us what we want! Rather than them decide what is good for us – ie the bare minimum.

ant ant 10:03 am 02 May 08

…. and once again, I give actual examples, while the “how dare you knock the police” crew (Spideydog and DJ) make vague opinionated statements attacking without countering. I’ve given examples of poor police performance… where’s your actual examples to counter that? Calling me names doesn’t quite cut it. Saying “the courts are full of people they’ve caught” is promising, but doesn’t deliver.

You may not like what I’m saying, but throwing mud and insults when someone’s come up with examples is weak. Being able to shout louder doesn’t win you an argument.

ant ant 9:56 am 02 May 08

Yes, our unit in Jindy was burgled (by the owner’s friend) and the local (on loan from elsewhere) NSW cops came very smartly, took all the evidence and stuff, but then appeared to lose interest in actually pursuing the case (again, all that “circumstantial evidence” baloney). They were pretty friendly though.

I also had dealings with the NSW police when they took statements from everyone who’d been staying in our lodge at thredbo before it came down the hill, very smart young detectives from Queanbeyan who didn’t miss *anything*.

And out my way, on a rainy night, the people down the hill’s burgular alarm went off, and someone must have rung the cops because after about half an hour of it starting up, they appeared. They then drove up to my house and sang up from their car to enquire how long the alarm had been going. I wasn’t sure. “would you reckon more than 30 minutes?” asked the cop hopefully. I agreed it would have been more than 30 minutes. Cop was happy with that and went off to issue the household with a nuisence alarm notice. Which was actually good (as well as rather funny) as it gave him a bit of revenge for a call-out on a wet night, and ensured that teh neighbours got their alarm fixed (so no more distuptions to the neighbourhood).

I was pretty impressed with the Qbn cops nabbing that offensive young prat in the school zone this morning, too. Red P plate, and lettering on his (lowered) ute saying “Too Lo for a Fat Ho”.

No cops are perfect, but I’m frankly flabbergasted by the ACT police. My examples I gave weren’t of trivial instances, I think anyone would regard them as pretty substandard behaviour by police.

smack smack 9:01 am 02 May 08


Have you ever had dealings with Police in other states? By the sounds of it no you haven’t, otherwise your opinion of ACT Police maybe slightly different. The QLD Police that attended my house, for what I considered a fairly major incident and they had to use my phone to ring through the report and get me an incident number. In NSW I had a burglary and the Police would not even attend.

In comparison I had a burglary in the ACT, which I considered very minor (only a camera taken) and the ACT Police attended, took some photos and a report. Sure in took them about 4 hours to come, but there wasn’t any rush as the burglar had already left. I also had a family member die at the hospital and the Police were really helpful and understanding.

So in comparison, my experiences with ACT Police have been good and better than Police in other states. It’s for this reason I have defended them on this site and will keep doing so.

Yeah sure I would have liked them to come within minutes of me reporting the burglary, but in the grand scheme of things in did not require urgent attendance. Whilst a burglary, fireworks or a noisy party might be the end of my world at the time, I can appreciate that it might not be the most important incident going on in Canberra at the time. We also have to be realistic, some incidents are sufficient to report over the phone and we don’t need a Police car to come just to make us feel good.

No system is perfect but in my opinion ours is better than some.

Spideydog Spideydog 12:14 am 02 May 08

Some very good points DJ, especially crime statistics, very true.

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