The Community Alliance Party believes that the ACT Government and our communities have a central role to play in making the community safer.
Although the ACT has a lower crime rate than most big Australian cities, it is facing some worrying trends, such as binge drinking, methamphetamine use, drink spiking, street attacks and other violent crimes.
The Alliance will work with our communities and education and law enforcement agencies to try to improve law and order. Crime flourishes where people are disconnected, uninvolved, feel no ownership and do not believe that the law is for them. The Alliance will help to reconnect people who have been involved in crime or disaffected by recent Government policy. The community needs to have an effective voice in the way the ACT is policed.
- The Alliance will seek to ensure the ACT better utilise its police resources through improved consultation and co-operation between the police and the ACT community. Police responsiveness should be improved.
- An increase in police numbers is part of the solution, as is simplification of reporting procedures, but more important the Alliance believes is decentralisation of police services. Police visibility is a clear and highly effective tool in deterring crime. This will be achieved through increased regular community patrols.
- The Alliance sees crime prevention as a community task.
- The Alliance will ensure that resources are made available to prevent crime by educating young people to keep out of trouble. Effective crime prevention strategies include government and police support of ‘neighbourhood watch’, public education to make homes more secure, a harm minimisation approach to drug and alcohol use (the cause of most crime), and working with youth at risk to prevent them from falling into criminal behaviour.
- The Alliance supports greater use of diversionary programs and restorative justice to reduce criminal behaviour.
- The Alliance supports initiatives that help to prevent violence, crime and self-harm in the ACT Indigenous community.
- The Alliance will end automatic gaol time for fine defaulters and replace it with community service appropriate for the type of crime.
- The Alliance believes that better planned community infrastructure and enhanced social inclusion help to prevent crime.
- The Alliance, in consultation with the social welfare and legal communities, will develop strategies to address domestic violence, including the greater provision of investigatory counselling services.
- The Alliance supports granting the Police the power to apply for interim apprehended violence orders when they attend a domestic incident, if they consider it necessary to protect the victim.
- The Alliance supports an increase in the number of Indigenous liaison officers within the ACT legal system.
- With the recent opening of the ACT Prison, comes a greatly enhanced ACT Government responsibility for the rehabilitation of local offenders
- The ACT Government must ensure that the prison observes international best practice to encourage personal growth and facilitate re-integration of detainees back into the community. It should take advantage of the rehabilitation options that a local gaol provides, including weekend detention, family support, and assisted return to society.
- The Alliance also supports establishing a forensic psychiatric facility within the prison. If the ACT Government is unable to manage the prison in a cost-effective manner, it should explore the possibility of running the new prison in cooperation with the NSW Government.