Queensland’s government is trumpeting a fall in the rate of reported crimes, but the opposition says the figures are misleading.
Lies, damned lies and statistics.
That’s what Queensland’s opposition thinks of the government’s new crime figures.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey says the numbers show tough, proactive policing is making the difference.
He pointed to a drop in the number of reported offences, down 11 per cent, as being particularly telling.
Mr Dempsey said putting 800 more police on the beat and giving them new tools like iPads has borne fruit.
“We’ve seen outstanding figures in crime rates being driven down right across the whole of the state,” he said.
“Mums, dads and children certainly can sleep easy in their beds knowing police now have the legislation, the technology and the equipment to keep their streets even safer than before.”
In reality the total crime rate has fallen slightly – the total number of offences was down two per cent in 2013/14.
Opposition police spokesman Bill Byrne claimed the government was being “loose with the truth” and “cherry-picking” by focusing on the drop in reported crimes, rather than the actual crime rate.
He pointed out that the total number of offences have barely changed, with 436,748 in 2013-14 compared to 437,455 in 2012-13.
He said given rises in crime during previous years, last financial year’s drop meant the government was back to square one.
“They have made virtually no progress since they came to government,” he told reporters.
“I find it rather disturbing that the government can be so loose with the truth and use this for political purposes.”
Mr Byrne claimed the government’s statistics were also hard to understand and compare as they hadn’t been published in the same format last year.
He said there should be a independent crime statistics auditor in Queensland.
But the government has refuted his claims, saying the statistics had been reported in the same way for 20 years.
QUEENSLAND CRIME IN THE PAST TWO FINANCIAL YEARS:
* 39 murders in 2013-14 compared with 48 in 2012-13
* 18,612 assaults compared with 19,477
* 5248 sexual offences compared with 5102
* 1584 robberies compared with 1884
* 622 stalking offences compared with 537
* 1195 arson offences compared with 1464
* 17,253 fraud offences compared with 19,007
* 65,019 drug offences compared with 54,799
* 42,345 traffic offences compared with 40,518.
(Source: Queensland government)