Another Outstanding Year for Tasmania Police Wed 24 October 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Police and Emergency Management The Minister for Police and Emergency Management, David O'Byrne, today congratulated the men and women of Tasmania Police for another outstanding year of achievement. The Department of Police and Emergency Management 2011-12 Annual Report shows total crime in Tasmania decreased by another 11 per cent last financial year (to 24,395 total offences), and clearance rates increased by another two per cent, to stand at 48 per cent. "Our dedicated police officers perform an exceptional service that makes a real difference in the lives of Tasmanians," Mr O'Byrne said. "These results again confirm that Tasmania is one of the safest communities in Australia, with crime rates continuing to drop beyond record lows. "In particular, clearance rates have been improving for many years, and that strong progress continues," he said. Mr O'Byrne said the strong results were achieved in a year when the number of sworn police officers was reduced by 34. "As we've previously said - police numbers are very important, but they're not the only factor in strong, effective policing," Mr O'Byrne said. "Labor has a proven record of investing heavily in our police service over many years - including better training, better equipment, and higher wages. "We all recognise that crime stats will fluctuate from time to time, especially of a low base. "But Labor's record is clear - less crimes being committed, and a higher proportion of criminals getting caught. "With income falling, we're currently making responsible savings to ensure Tasmanians can still afford that strong and effective police service for many years to come. "As our GST income improves, Labor's first priority will be re-investing in key community services, including the police budget," he said. In other results for the 2011-12 financial year: • Serious crime (including assaults, sexual assaults, robbery, arson and murder) reduced by 16 per cent. • The number of stolen vehicles decreased by 16 per cent. • Property offences (including burglary and arson) decreased by 13 per cent. Mr O'Byrne also paid tribute to the 406 unsworn DPEM staff who've contributed to the strong results. "They perform crucial duties and provide invaluable support to operational police," Mr O'Byrne said. "They also help keep our community safe, and allow more sworn officers to be on the beat instead of having administration commitments. "Our 560 or so State Emergency Service volunteers have also made an immense contribution to supporting Tasmanians in need over the past year. "They perform brave and dedicated work in some of the toughest conditions, and deserve our utmost respect and gratitude," he said.