Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Tuesday 27 February 1990 paragraph, I mention in passing, he referred also to the efforts of remote area school-based constables. I am not sure what he means by 'remote area school-based constables'. I know that there are school-based constables in the towns .,. Mr Perron: In the high schools. We have a policeman who tours schools in remote areas. Mr BELL: I welcome the interjection from the Chief Minister and I certainly endorse that. While I am on the subject of the police - and this has been referred to by other members in other debates - my experi ence with the Northern Territory Police Force and the associations that I have had with various members all around the Territory, particularly in my own electorate, has dramatically increased my respect for the police force. Prior to being a member of this Assembly, I was not as aware as I am now of the police force. On one occasion, I mentioned an incident in which a police officer was involved and which related to the use of a pistol in questionable ci rcumstances. I noted the reference to weapon sin the report. However, I want to place on the record my be Hef in and confi dence in the Northern Territory Pol ice Force and the quality of the service it provides to the Territory community. I have a critical attitude in that regard. I have not hesitated to raise issues where I believe there have been shortcomings. However, I would be disappointed if, because I have done so, there was a perception that I am other than a supporter of police efforts in the Territory. I believe that we are fortunate in being free of the sorts of problems that have beset other po li ce forces, most recently in Queen s 1 and with the Fitzgerald Inquiry and, prior to that, in Victoria with the Beach Inquiry. In New South Wales and South Australia, there have also been concerns in that regard. In passing, I indicate that I welcome the statement that is still on the Notice Paper in respect of the quality of policing in the Territory. I believe that it is an issue that should be the subject of ongoing consideration by this parliament. Mr Speaker, there is something that I meant to mention when I was addressing the question of homicide rates in the Aboriginal community. I quote from page 36 of the report: Accumulating evidence suggests that Aboriginal Australians constitute a much greater proportion of homicide victims than might have been expected from their numbers. Indeed, their homicide rates appear to be as much as 10 times that borne by the general population. Honourab 1 e members will reca 11 that that is exactly the fi gure that I have used in reference to homicide rates in the Aboriginal community in this Assembly on many occasions. I note the Northern Territory Police advi sed the commi ttee - and aga in I am quot i ng from the report - that, in 1987, Aboriginal females were 'victims of 79% of total deaths involving chargeable offences'. That is in dramatic contrast to the national figures. The homicide rate in relation to males across the country is something like two-thirds of that. Among this small group of people, we find that Aboriginal females are victims of four-fifths or 79% of total deaths involving chargeable offences. As is the case with other statistics, those are in stark contrast with the national situation. 8742