Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Crime Rates

The Hon. B.R. HOOD (15:00): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Attorney-General regarding crime rates in the northern suburbs.

Leave granted.

The Hon. B.R. HOOD: On 17 October 2023, Labor's federal member for Spence told the House of Representatives about worryingly high rates of violent crime occurring in his northern suburbs electorate. Matt Burnell MP informed the house that one of his own staff had been assaulted on that same day, enduring multiple blows to the head, and was threatened with a knife. Mr Burnell said:

…such behaviour is not isolated in my community. I constantly read reports of crime happening in the north, and it's simply not good enough.

The member for Spence then went on to say that when these perpetrators were convicted they tended to remain in the community without rehabilitation or reprimand. He then called on the state government, the Attorney-General and the police minister to act. My questions to the Attorney-General are:

1. Has the Attorney met with the federal member for Spence to specifically discuss his concerns over the high rates of violent crime and the courts' lack of rehabilitation or punishment of these perpetrators?

2. If so, what immediate action is he taking to ensure the safety of those living in our northern suburb communities?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:01): I thank the honourable member for his question. Of course, it is an exceptionally important function of government in general to keep people and the people who live in this state safe. I know that the primary responsibility for the detection of crime and the apprehension of those who commit crimes rests with the South Australian police force, who target their resources in such a way to maximise the effectiveness of how they do that and keep South Australia safe. I am sure that SAPOL will continue to do that.