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Firearm use in homicide and armed robbery down: ABS.

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Wednesday 28 June 2000


Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today welcomed the release of the ABS publication: Recorded Crime 1999.

"The paper provides the latest figures available on crime in Australia," Senator Vanstone said.

"It shows that while the murder rate has increased, largely due to the Snowtown murders in South Australia and two murder-suicide incidents in Western Australia, the use of firearms has reduced.

"Firearms use in murders in 1999 at 18% was the lowest proportion since 1995. The highest was in 1996, the year of the Port Arthur massacre, with 32% of all murders in that year involving a firearm [refer Section 12]

"Similarly, the use of firearms in all robberies has decreased by more than half since 1993, from 16% to 6.3% [section 12] and the proportion of firearms used in armed robberies has decreased from 18% in 1998 to 15% in 1999 [section 6.]

"While these figures provide some indication that the Government’s National Firearms Agreement may be having an impact, it is still too early to be definitive.

"It is pleasing to note a reduction in some offences during 1999, including motor vehicle theft [down 1.3%], robbery [down 5.1%] sexual assault [down 1.8%], unlawful entry with intent [down 4.3%]."

Senator Vanstone said the Federal Government had taken a leadership role in the fight against crime.

"CrimTrac is a key initiative in the fight against crime. CrimTrac represents a $50 million investment from the Federal Government in helping local police solve local crime," Senator Vanstone said.

"Similarly, the Federal Government’s commitment to Tough on Drugs includes a significant increase in funding for agencies such as the Australian Federal Police and National Crime Authority and is playing an important role in the fight against crime.

"The co-operative work with States and Territories on the Model Criminal Code is vital in ensuring the development of uniform penalties and offences for a broad range of crimes.

"Crime prevention has a $21 million commitment from the Federal Government to develop specific anti-crime initiatives."

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Firearm use in homicide and armed robbery down - ABS [30/06/2000 11:39:20]