Asylum Seekers

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:47:43): My questions are to the Minister for Police and Corrections:

1.How many asylum seekers were arrested by SAPOL officers in the calendar years between 2012 and 2015?

2.How many asylum seekers had those charges eventually dropped?

3.How many asylum seekers whose charges were dropped remain in immigration detention centres, and what has been the duration of those stays?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) (14:48:14): I thank the honourable member for her important question and appreciate her passion in the subject area of asylum seekers. I am more than happy to take that question on notice, in light of its rather specific nature over a substantial time period and the multiple parts to the question.

What I can inform the chamber and council members and the honourable member of is that SAPOL arrest approximately 25,000 people in an average year, which is an incredibly large number of people that they apprehend. What percentage asylum seekers make up of that very large number, I am not sure, but I am more than happy to take that specific question on notice and provide appropriate details as soon as we get a briefing back from SAPOL.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:49:01): Supplementary: my question was not the percentage but the number. Could the minister also provide additional information about how many of those numbers were under 18?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) (14:49:13): I am more than happy to try to ascertain those specific numbers from SAPOL and provide them accordingly. One thing I would draw the honourable member's attention towards is that that will necessitate some cross-jurisdictional fact checking, as I understand it, in light of this also interrelating with the Department of Immigration. I will be more than happy to undertake that work and get you answers as quickly as possible.

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