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189 percent increase in traffic tickets


189 percent increase in traffic tickets

The number of traffic tickets issued by police has almost tripled in five years, ACT Deputy Leader and police spokesman Dr Muriel Newman revealed today.

Figures released to Dr Newman by Police Minister George Hawkins show the number of police issued traffic tickets jumped from 136,999 tickets in 2000 to 395,913 tickets in 2004, a 189 percent increase.

"These numbers are criminal," Dr Newman said. " At a time when the community is really worried about crime, these figures show this Labour Government has got its priorities all wrong. A lot of money is being poured into traffic policing at the expense of keeping people safe.

The biggest increase was in traffic tickets issued in the 11 to 15 kilometres over the speed limit category where 161,916 tickets were issued in 2004, compared with 3,785 in 2000

"These extraordinary ticket numbers add fuel to the argument that the time has come to split traffic duties from the core role of policing," Dr Newman said. "The Government continually claims that it has given additional resources to the police, but the reality is that most of these new officers are drafted into traffic duties and funding is ring-fenced for that purpose.

"Our police force are fighting a growing crime wave and are seriously overwhelmed. Police numbers should be increased by at least 2,500 to match Australia's policing rate. I look forward to the budget and hope we will see an increase in our frontline police numbers," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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