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Queensland crime statistics not black and white

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Photo: Robert Shakespeare BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 10: Opposition Party member Tim Mander speaks during the First question time session after the LNP leadership spill on May 10, 2016 in Brisbane (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Fairfax Media) *** Local Caption *** Tim Mander Photo: Bradley Kanaris
Nanjing Night Net

With the minority Palaszczuk government approaching its halfway point, the LNP is stepping up its attacks, hoping to differentiate itself from the government with its own record on law and order.

Shadow Police Minister Tim Mander used the latest police statistics to up his attack on the government for being “soft on crime”, point to the 42 per cent increase in assaults on the Gold Coast over the past year as proof “Queensland’s hardworking police simply weren’t getting the support they needed” from the Labor government.

“Labor is notoriously soft on crime and the facts speak for themselves,” Mr Mander said in a statement.

“Under Annastacia Palaszczuk and Bill Byrne, Gold Coast assaults are up, while across the state, assault is up almost 10 per cent, robbery up 8 per cent, motor vehicle theft almost 6 per cent and unlawful entry almost 3 per cent.”

But, as with anything based on statistics, the data story is not all black and white, with longer term comparisons showing crime rates continuing to fall.

The Newman government put a stop to the Queensland Police Service publishing its annual statistical review, instead putting the data on its ‘open data’ website, which made comparing data sets more difficult.

A spokesman for the Queensland Police Service said comparing data year on year didn’t paint the most accurate of pictures.

“Recently released statistics in regards to reported offences in Queensland do indicate that there has been an increase in the rate of reports in a number of offence categories across the 12 months ended June 2016 in comparison to the previous 12 month period,” he said.

“It is accepted that when comparing relatively short periods of time [such as from one year to another], the rate of reporting will fluctuate for a number of reasons. For example a rise in reported assaults can be attributed to an increased awareness and greater confidence in reporting assaults related to domestic and family violence.

“Comparison of data over a greater period of time provides a more accurate representation of the safety and security of Queenslanders and their property.

“The Gold Coast District has a rate of reported offences against the person still 0.1 per cent lower than the year 2006-2007, while offences against property are 21.2 per cent lower.

“State-wide has a rate of reported offences against the person 19.3 per cent lower than 2006-2007, while offences against property are 21 per cent lower.

“In all crime categories, the rate of reported crime in 2015-2016 is 2 per cent lower than the 2006-2007 reporting period.

“Maintaining the safety of Queenslanders and their property is the priority of the Queensland Police Service, and we will always rely on the co-operation of the community in helping us to achieve this.”

With Labor and the LNP continuing to remain in lockstep in the polls, and with neither party having won a clear majority of support since the 2015 election, both are moving to better establish their differences.

Labor’s next law and order test will come when it moves forward with plans to scrap the Newman Government’s anti-association laws, despite their recent increase in public popularity.

Parliament resumes on 16 August.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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