Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 December quarter, show a very sharp increase which is clearly demonstrated by this graph which was tabled yesterday. Sexual assaults in the last two quarters have gone up from four to 19 over those two quarters and if that is not ringing alarm bells in government, I do not know what is. I also lay on the Table recorded offences against the person for the September quarter to the December quarter, the last two quarters, which have gone up substantially as well. We have to remember that this is the yardstick the Attorney-General himself said we should use - have a quarter to quarter comparison of crime statistics and we will have them audited to make sure they are all tickety-boo. As a consequence ... Mr Henderson: You said you do not believe them. Mr ELFERINK: We will have them audited and we will proceed on the basis of comparing them. When the numbers do not go in the governments favour, they change the way they interpret them. They have been interpreting them now by comparing year to year. I continue on with unlawful entry dwelling with intent, September and December quarters - an increase; unlawful entry with intent, other, September and December quarters - an increase; stolen motor vehicles in Alice Springs - a 19% increase using the governments current yardstick of the prior 12 months to the current 12 months. I produced six graphs and I am becoming a little concerned that statistics are what are driving this government rather than the truth. Mr Wicking from the Northern Territory News made the point particularly well when, in his last cartoon, he showed a villain breaking into a house and the police officer levelling his gun at him, and he says: Stop - or youll have a negative impact on quarterly compilation of crime statistics. That is the problem with this government: that they are focussed on statistics. Yesterday, I saw the fellow who has a scar from his ear to the top of his head, the result of a rock attack.. This fellow had to go to Adelaide for treatment. The fellow, who wants to be an Alice Springs resident, is thinking about leaving. Why is he thinking about leaving? Because of crime in the community. This fellow turned up because he was concerned about crime in this community, and I know that many people are. When I hear stories about young children who are being sexually assaulted in supermarkets, I am concerned. Members inteijecting. Mr ELFERINK: I listen to you people chortle and laugh. Let us look at the statistics this government produced on crime issues. I would like to draw members attention to the fact that on page 43 of the December quarter of the Quarterly Crime Statistics and page 9, I think it is, on the September quarter crime statistics, the numbers change. Dr Toyne inteijecting. Mr ELFERINK: I pick up on the inteijection from the Attorney-General. The quarter I refer to, which changes as offences are logged, is the December quarter of the year 2000. Are you telling me that people have waited two years to come into the police station and lodge a complaint? This is astonishing, and these numbers are varying. It is interesting to note that in the September issue of this document there were 340 recorded offences against the person yet, in the December quarter, there are 330. Are you telling me 10 people, after two years, came into the police station to withdraw a complaint, minister? This does not make sense. In the December quarter, we see the government represent two sets of figures and they are different. This goes to the very heart o f the integrity of the governments figures. We hear that you have to look at the statistics. When I look at the statistics, they change. In this example, the statistics go backwards after two years. This goes to the integrity of the governments position. Members inteijecting. Mr ELFERINK: There are all sorts of inteijections I hear about how to read the statistics and how to measure them and how long is a piece of string but, at the end of the day, if these filters are necessary, why are they not carefully explained by the government as to why they cause these changes? That is something that the government is not doing. A classic example of what the government tries to do with these statistics can be noted on page 69 of the September 2002 Quarterly Crime Statistics and the December report, which are three months apart. If you go to page 92 of the December quarter 2002 statistics, it says: In its current Crime and Safety Survey publication the Australia Bureau o f Statistics reports that nationally 23% o f house break-ins and 72%> o f assault offences are not reported to the police. 3947