SOME “big fish” criminals will be charged before the end of the year, promised National Security Minister Stuart Young.
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He was contributing to debate on a private motion by Opposition Senator Taharqa Obika calling on Government to table a strategic crime prevention plan. Young said in Obika’s piloting of the bill he mocked the anti-gang legislation and the suggestion that only five people had been charged. He said if the Opposition took the time to read the legislation they would understand the effect of it was not only about charges but allows the police in their investigations and pursuit of criminals in gangs special powers to enter premises, arrest people for harbouring criminals and to pull people aside for questioning.
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He said the legislation is critical and is being utilised by the police. He stressed to have an effective investigation that turns intelligence and information into evidence that can then be used to charge and prosecute people takes time.
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“The legislation was not retroactive so it was the start point for us to start building the intelligence and information and converting it into evidence and it will lead to charges.”
He continued: “There will be big fish taken down in the next set of operations before the end of the year. There are charges that will be laid.”
On the motion Young said it is ill-advised and inaccurate and he wanted to debunk Obika’s claim that there has been an extraordinary increase in crime. He explained in national security information and intelligence is guarded “very jealously” to ensure the success of operations.
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“This administration does not believe in going at the top of a mountain before the launch of operations to say exactly how we intend to deal with crime. We prefer to let the effects and the effectiveness of what is being done be seen.”
He said the latest information from the police Crime and Prevention Analysis serious reported crime from January 1 to June 22, 2019 reduced from 6,620 to 5,712, a reduction of 908..