Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie today said the Giles CLP Government’s 2015 Budget fails to deliver the 120 extra police promised by the CLP before the last election.
“The Chief Minister and former Police Minister has failed to deliver on a key promise to the police and our community, when across the Territory we are seeing rises in crime, with house break-ins, car thefts, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled assaults.
“The budget funding announced does not even fill current vacancies in the force – let alone the 120 extra police promised.”
Police numbers have gone backwards under the CLP, last year the Police Annual Report showed numbers fell by 61.
“The CLP are running out of time to deliver this commitment before the next election, and this cynical ploy indicates they have no intention of keeping to their commitment.
“This budget announcement is a slap in the face to our hard-working police, right across the Territory, and is another example of how the CLP can’t be trusted.
The Police Association, representing police members, have clearly identified “the government is not meeting its election commitment, it’s a commitment that they made and now they’re trying to spin their way out of it.” *
Police Association President Vince Kelly also said, “a bit of honesty and integrity from these guys would go a long way or alternatively simply meet your election promise.” *
“Our police force is bearing the brunt of poor CLP policy on alcohol that is seeing police officers being used as a replacement for the Banned Drinkers Register – it is unsustainable and is negatively affecting police resourcing and morale.
“Last year’s $9 million in funding cuts to crime prevention and general policing under the CLP is adding to the difficulties for police to respond to crime,” Ms Lawrie said.
In Government, Labor delivered an extra 434 police officers and a further 94 extra officers, funded by the Federal Government, providing in total 494 additional police, growing police numbers by almost 50 per cent from 2001.
* Mix radio, 9 April 2015
Media Contact: Sonia Peters 0437 762 881
Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie said today the Giles CLP Government’s failure to address crime and antisocial behaviour in Alice Springs was impacting on local business and residents.
“It is an indictment on Adam Giles and his failed CLP policies that a weekend where taxis were pulled off the streets because of rock throwing, visitors assaulted, houses and businesses vandalised and broken into and large groups of young people were roaming the streets of the CBD late at night can be described as nothing unusual,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Adam Giles has a litany of broken promises to Alice Springs and sadly it is residents and businesses who are paying the price.
“Youth after hours services were slashed by the CLP Government and the results of this ill thought out policy are obvious with young people out on the streets late at night, reports of vandalism and graffiti and businesses and residents calling for action.
“Earlier this year Adam Giles promised funding for youth services – but money has still not been released.
“He says the Town Council will be conducting youth patrols with Congress, but there are few details on how this approach will work, when it will start and where the funding is coming from.
“Even members of his own Government are saying they got it wrong, with the CLP Member for Araluen Robyn Lambley saying it was a mistake to scrap the YSOS program.
“Adam Giles refuses to even acknowledge there are issues with crime in Alice Springs, instead making claims that the town has never had it so good.
“He is arrogant and out of touch with what is going on in his own backyard and Central Australia deserves better.’
Media contact: Louise Connor 0438 241211
The CLP are continuing to fail miserably when it comes to law and order for the residents of Darwin and Palmerston with crime on the increase, said Shadow Minister for Police Lynne Walker.
The latest crime statistics show assaults in Darwin are now up 12.5% with motor vehicle theft up 35.1% in Darwin and up 52.5% in Palmerston.
The news just gets worse with house break-ins in Darwin up 64.8% and 56.95% in Palmerston where commercial break-ins are up a staggering 102.5%.
“These figures are higher than the Christmas crime wave and Darwin and Palmerston residents are rightly asking what the CLP is doing to stop this out of control crime.
“We know TBLs have had some impact in lowering crime statistics but they are not sustainable and what is also clear is that drinkers are heading up the Stuart highway to avoid the TBLs in Katherine and Tennant Creek.
“The CLP cannot ignore the recommendations of the bipartisan report of the Senate Inquiry into domestic and family violence which recommends the reinstatement of the Banned Drinkers’ Register,” Ms Walker said.
A Territory Parliamentary Committee into the prevention of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder recommended further analysis be undertaken on Temporary Beat Locations and the Banned Drinker Register and to implement personal point of sale restrictions.
“Police, including highly trained members of the Tactical Response Group, need to be able to get back to the police work they were trained to do to keep communities safe and catch criminals, not being bouncers outside licensed premises at TBLs.”
Assaults in Darwin are up 8.4% while Motor Vehicle Theft was up 22.8% in Darwin and a staggering 44.9% in Palmerston.
“The CLP’s law and order policy seems to be finding two dates that show the best reduction in figures, rather than having any real ideas to prevent crime in the first place.”
“Temporary Beat Locations (TBL’s) have been a success in lowering crime statistics – but they are unsustainable – the cost - both in dollars and resources from Police - makes them just that – temporary.
“The CLP need to tell us what their long term solution to alcohol related crime is and it can’t just be turning a T into a P and calling them Permanent Beat Locations.
Territorians know that there is a crime and alcohol problem in the Territory and they want answers – not police checking licenses at bottle shops.
If they want to stop banned drinkers bring back the BDR and free up police to get back to doing police work – not being bouncers.