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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport
    The Honourable Judy Spence

    Messenger Distorts Facts and Ignores the Success of Queensland Police: Spence

    Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport
    The Honourable Judy Spence

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Messenger Distorts Facts and Ignores the Success of Queensland Police: Spence

    Rob Messenger has insulted the efforts of Queensland Police, in his latest attempt to grab the media spotlight, Police Minister Judy Spence said today.

    “Mr Messenger has failed to acknowledge the excellent results of this year’s Queensland Police Service Annual Statistical Review, instead choosing to misrepresent the facts on sex crimes,” Ms Spence said.

    “Mr Messenger’s claim that sexual violence is surging in this state is simply wrong.

    “We have nothing to hide when it comes to crime in this state – and that is why I explained in parliament, the nature of the rise in sexual offences this year.

    “If Mr Messenger had been listening, he would know 20% of sexual offences reported in this year’s statistics relate to historical cases, which police have worked hard to investigate.

    “Some of the historical data included in this reporting period relates to one offender, who is allegedly responsible for 500 sexual offences against two victims occurring over 30 years ago.

    “If you take out the historical cases of the sexual offence category, sexual offences including rapes, have actually gone down by 7%.

    “The fact that so many historical cases have been reported this year, is an excellent indication of the confidence people have in our police to investigate and solve these crimes. Furthermore, these figures are an indication that police focus not on favourable statistics, but on helping those in the community who are the victims of crime.”

    Ms Spence said Rob Messenger’s attack on the efforts of police to solve sexual offences shows he is ignorant of the facts.

    “In 2006/07 police solved more sex crime cases, than the year before,” Ms Spence said.

    “In 2005/06 police solved 5,687 sexual offence cases, while in 2006/07 5,719 cases were solved.

    “The high number of historical cases has also had an impact on clear up rates – as victims have reported significant numbers of offences by one alleged perpetrator, which can require lengthy and extended investigations before they can be cleared.

    “Police are to be commended for their dedication to solving historical and recent sexual crimes in Queensland – providing the victims with some level of closure.

    “Our officers are doing an excellent job of investigating these very complicated offences and they deserve more credit than Mr Messenger is willing to give.

    “Mr Messenger has also failed to acknowledge the fact that despite this year’s rise in reported rape and attempted rape cases, in the sexual offences category there has continued to be an overall downward trend over the past five years.

    “While Mr Messenger is determined to whip up fear in the community, this government will continue to provide police with the support they need to investigate and solve crimes.

    “The four percent drop in overall crime rates statewide shows our continued investment in law and order is paying off, and police are embracing our tough on crime approach, ensuring Queensland remains the best place in Australia to live.”

    Ms Spence said Mr Messenger’s claim that the Queensland Police Service attrition rate is among the highest in the country is totally wrong.

    “Attrition rates of personnel from the Queensland Police Service not only compare favourably with all other Australian police jurisdictions, but are below most of them,” Ms Spence said.

    “In the most recent data for police separations nationwide (2005-06), Queensland in fact had the third lowest separation rate in the country.

    “For some reason Mr Messenger insists on painting the Queensland Police Service in a bad light, in his pathetic attempts to gain attention.

    “He should spend some time reading and understanding the facts and figures, before he attempts to interpret them for his own political benefit.”
    Media Contact: Nicola Hazell – 0439 673 287