Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

6 September 2021

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

DPFEM Crime Statistics

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has a plan to keep Tasmanians safe, with the Crime Statistics Supplement released today showing the Total Offences Recorded and Cleared has decreased by 13 per cent which is an 8 year low.

While this is a good result, the statistics released by Tasmania Police also show an increase in sexual assaults which is of significant concern.

The Tasmanian community has the right to live in an environment free from sexual assault, and I would like to recognise the great courage of victims and survivors in reporting these offences.

The increase comes amid unprecedented public disclosure, media attention and increased awareness around sexual assault and consent, and it is so important that we continue these conversations.

Brave survivors such as Grace Tame, as well as increased attention as a result of the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Response to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings have also resulted in increased awareness of sexual assault and reporting.

The Tasmanian Government and Tasmania Police recognise that more needs to be done to prevent sexual violence and increase survivors’ confidence in the police and legal response so that sexual offending decreases and perpetrators are held to account.

We recognise this requires a whole-of-government response that includes primary prevention, early intervention, and trauma-informed, evidence-based support for victim-survivors and perpetrators.

That’s why we have implemented a range of initiatives including:

  • Working collaboratively with the Australian Government and other state and territory governments to establish a coordinated and consistent approach to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse through a new National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse;
  • Commenced a Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Response to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings;
  • Tasmania Police has worked with Communities Tasmania and the Registrar for Registration for Working with Vulnerable People to improve information sharing arrangements to better prevent and identify people who pose a risk to children and vulnerable people;
  • Tasmania Police, in consultation with other agencies, are also providing advice to the Premier on how we can better respond to and investigate sexual assault in Tasmania through a multi-disciplinary integrated approach;
  • Delivered our Safe Homes, Families, Communities: Tasmania’s action plan for family and sexual violence 2019-2022 which underpins the Department of Communities Tasmania Framework for the Tasmanian Sexual Violence Support Program;
  • Investing $4.12 million in 2021-22 to support Tasmanians who have experienced sexual violence. This support is funded through the Tasmanian Sexual Violence Support program with additional funding to SASS to deliver a Harmful Sexual Behaviours program for young people; and
  • Providing significant funding to increase police numbers for the safety and protection of our community.
    The Tasmanian Government also wants to reduce the stigma of reporting sexual abuse and return power from perpetrators to victims. This is because we know that sexual violence is under-reported, as 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 16 men have experienced sexual violence.

Reporting of offences enables police to investigate, prosecute and hold offenders to account, potentially preventing further harm from occurring within our community.

If this matter has raised any issues for you the following support services are available:

  • 1800 RESPECT
  • Laurel House (03) 6334 2740 (Launceston), (03) 6431 9711 (Burnie and Devonport)
  • Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) on 1800 697 877
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277

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