Queenslanders can have their say on how crime is tackled in their state, with a special Parliamentary Inquiry shining a light on the issues that affect them.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the Inquiry into Criminal Activity would help build upon extensive crime-fighting reforms and successes already achieved by the Queensland Government.
“We have already taken strong action over the past two years with a range of law and order reforms and increased law enforcement resources, but we want to know what else can be done,” Mr Bleijie said.
“This inquiry delivers on our election promises to Queenslanders that we would revitalise frontline services and make this state the safest place to raise a family.
“It shows that we have a strong plan for a brighter future.
“We also promised the people of Queensland that we would work to fix Queensland’s crime problems after years of Labor inaction and mismanagement and this inquiry will help us achieve that.
“We know different crime trends occur in different areas so the inquiry, to be conducted by the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee, will travel across the state to hear from all Queenslanders.
“We want to know about the crime issues that affect them and develop ways to prevent them.”
The Inquiry will examine:
- the trends and type of criminal activity in Queensland, having regard to available crime statistics and issues of unreported crime
- the social and economic contributors to crime
- the impacts of this criminal activity on the community and individuals, including the social and economic impacts
- the effectiveness (including the cost effectiveness) of crime prevention strategies, including imprisonment, justice reinvestment, early intervention, alternative dispute resolution, and other models used in national and international jurisdictions
- the experiences of Queenslanders with regard to the criminal justice system, including the experiences of victims of sexual violence and/or domestic violence including their interactions with the Queensland Police Service, the courts, prosecuting authorities, legal and support services and compensation processes
- possible strategies to increase collaboration and co-operation between various participants in the criminal justice system
Further, the Committee is to recommend measures to curb criminal activity, reduce rates of recidivism, and build a safer community.
In undertaking the inquiry the Committee is to:
- hold public and private hearings across Queensland
- ensure such hearings include an examination of available crime statistics for the relevant area or region
- take public and private submissions
Mr Bleijie said the Inquiry would be required to complete its report by 31 October, 2014.
“The legal profession was consulted extensively during the development of the Terms of Reference and I thank everyone involved for their input,” he said.
“Including specific references to sexual and domestic violence in the Terms of Reference was a direct result of that consultation.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said recommendations from the Inquiry would build on successful initiatives already implemented by the Government.
“The results speak for themselves,” Mr Dempsey said.
“The overall crime rate is down by 5 per cent, robberies have decreased by 23 per cent and break-ins are also down by 22 per cent.
“This is a testament to the hard work of our police and the Government’s commitment to making Queensland safer.
“In just two years, the Government has employed 750 new police officers and given them the powers and the resources they need to effectively tackle crime.”