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Canberra Today 18°/20° | Monday, January 24, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Online reporting ends some police visits to burgled homes

THE Canberra Liberals have raised alarm at reports that a new government system may mean property crimes receive no visit from police.

Yesterday it was reported that “victims of burglary may not get a visit from police, with officers focusing their attention on more serious crimes.”

ACT chief police officer Neil Gaughan said on radio: “Resources are tight, as they are in every sector, so we find this is going to be more efficient.

“We will be less responsive to some of the property crime we have been in the past.”

Shadow police minister Jeremy Hanson said the system sends a green light to criminals who will know a certain level of crime may not even receive a visit from police.

“It seems like now victims of burglary and other property crime will lodge a report online, and then have to wait and see if police will turn up. There doesn’t even seem to be a system to let them know if police will attend or not,” said Mr Hanson.

“Frankly, this [is] a direct result of the fact that there are not enough police in the ACT, as has been stated repeatedly by me and by police themselves, and I call on the government to focus on community policing and give police the resources they and the community need.”

In a statement to “CityNews”,  a police spokesperson said ACT Policing is exploring a range of modern ways the community can report incidents, crimes and other matters.

“Of course we will always maintain our Triple Zero and police assistance phone lines, but we are considering options such as online reporting,” said the spokesperson.

“We expect people could self-report incidents such as vandalism, minor property damage, minor burglaries (where there is little evidentiary material) and other matters.

“We already have an online tool to allow people to report historic sexual assaults and for many years people have been reporting minor traffic collisions via an Access Canberra form and providing Crime Stoppers with information via an online form.

“Ultimately, online reporting will provide convenience for the community, and will allow police to better respond to incidents where immediate police assistance is required.”

Police minister Mick Gentleman said its important for the community to have a range of ways to report crime and agreed extending to online reporting will help Canberrans.

“ACT Policing is not changing how they respond to crime and will continue to keep our community safe,” said Mr Gentleman.

“ACT Policing determine the most appropriate use of its resources into the areas it sees as an operational priority to ensure our city remains safe. The Government will continue working with ACT Policing to support and resource their important work”


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