Police Association Campaign Wed 13 June 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Police and Emergency Management EMBARGOED UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT - TUESDAY JUNE 12TH. The Minister for Police and Emergency Management, David O'Byrne, today acknowledged the Police Association of Tasmania's new advertising campaign opposing any budget savings measures. "The Government recognises the Police Association's right to campaign aggressively on behalf of members," Mr O'Byrne said. "However, we're disappointed that they're continuing to pursue unnecessary and irresponsible scare tactics about community safety. "Tasmania is one of the safest communities in Australia, with crime rates generally falling to record lows, and excellent police clearance rates. "We don't anticipate that changing as a result of modest reductions in police numbers, already well underway "However, in recognition of their important frontline duties, the recent 2012-13 State Budget exempted Tasmania Police from any additional savings requirements, along with health and education," he said. Tasmanian Crime Facts Recorded crime has continued to decrease from 35,824 total offences in 2006-07, to 27,165 in 2010-11 - reduction of 24 per cent. The current figure of 20,280 offences for this financial year (to April 30th) suggests that trend is continuing. The number of public order incidents and public place assaults reported to Tasmania Police is the lowest for five years, and remains among the lowest in Australia (per capita). There's been a 24 per cent decrease in property offences and a 28 per cent decrease in assault offences, including a 20 per cent decrease in public place assaults. A 2011 survey into community satisfaction with police showed the percentage of Tasmanians who feel safe at home is 96 per cent in the daytime, and 90 per cent night. 68 per cent of Tasmanians interviewed were either satisfied or very satisfied with Tasmania Police's management of public order problems - up from 60 per cent in 2010. "Tasmania faces a significant budget challenge. Income from the Federal Government has plummeted, for reasons beyond ours' or any Government's control," Mr O'Byrne said. "We must reduce spending accordingly, and live within our means. "Like all areas of Government, responsible savings measures must be found in the police budget, so Tasmania can afford a quality service for years to come. "It would be unreasonable and irresponsible to simply exempt one area of Government from savings measures, at the expense of all others. "Tasmania Police has prioritised frontline policing by making as many savings as possible in administrative areas. However, more than 80 per cent of the department's current budget consists of wage costs. "Our police officers are now significantly better paid, better trained and better equipped that when Labor took office 14 years ago. "Tasmanians have every reason to have confidence in their police service, and feel safe in their communities. "I urge all parties, including the Police Association, to recognise the necessity of responsible savings measures, put scaremongering aside, and work constructively with Tasmania Police and the Government to ensure the best and safest future for our community," he said.