• Petitioned Mark Dreyfus QC MP

This petition was delivered to:

Attorney-General
Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Attorney-General
Greg Smith SC MP

Stop Aboriginal deaths in police custody by saving the Custody Notification Service (CNS)

    1. Petition by

      Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT

  1.  
  2.   
June 2013

Victory

With just over two weeks to go before the CNS phone line preventing Aboriginal deaths in police custody was due to cease operating, the Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has agreed to funding for a two-year period. We want to thank all of YOU - 33,864 online petitioners who fought hard with us to get the CNS funded.

There have been no Aboriginal deaths in police custody in NSW and the ACT since the Custody Notification Service, a 24-hour legal advice phone line began in 2000.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP IT RUNNING!

HOW?

Show how MASSIVE the support is for the government to fund this service by signing this petition and keeping a vital service alive.

Every time our lawyers speak to an Aboriginal person being detained, they check upon the welfare of the person by asking RU OK? Often people aren't OK.  

Threats of self- harm or suicide are common. Our lawyers are skilled at hearing ideation or real threats of self-harm or suicide. The lawyer talks carefully with the person, notifies the Police and the vulnerable person in custody is made safe.

The CNS is an extremely SUCCESSFUL program assisting vulnerable people with fair and equitable access to justice and welfare.

IT'S NOT JUST A PHONE LINE, IT'S A LIFELINE.

Since July 2012, when the government stopped funding it, ALS staff have covered the costs of the phone line however we are struggling and cannot afford to continue funding the service.  

The CNS will cease to exist on the 30th of June 2013 unless government funding is urgently found.

The phone line costs the same to operate as holding two juveniles in detention for one year - $500,000 per annum.  

The ALS is urgently calling on the NSW and/or Australian government to fund this essential service. Aboriginal incarceration rates are already too high. It is likely they will increase if the CNS does not exist.

_________________________________

DID YOU KNOW:  

- The police must contact the ALS every time they take on an Aboriginal person into custody. It was a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and is now legislated under NSW law.  

- In the NSW Attorney-General's Second Reading Speech (2013) on the revised Right to Silence legalisation, the A-G stated the ALS 24-hour legal advice phone line WILL be available for Aboriginal people taken into custody, thereby removing none of the protections afforded to vulnerable Aboriginal people.  

 

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Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 30,000 signatures
    2. Over 23,500 signatures and counting to SAVE THE CNS

      It's true! We now have 23,558 signatures on our petition to Government to save the Custody Notification Service and help prevent Aboriginal deaths in police custody.

      In six weeks time the CNS will cease to exist because of a funding battle between the Australian and NSW Government. Both agree the CNS is necessary, but both want the other to fund it.

      Where do we sit? At the coal-face. Every week, at least 300 Aboriginal men, women and children in police custody are given legal advice. They are also asked, RU OK?

      Every day, Aboriginal men, women and children are counselled, diverted from self-harm, and assisted with medical intervention, and with police cooperation are made safe, because of the CNS.

      With your help, we can show Government how massive the support is for the CNS.

      Can you please share this petition again with your friends and colleagues?
      https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/stop-aboriginal-deaths-in-police-custody-by-saving-the-custody-notification

      Thank you,
      ALS

    3. Reached 20,000 signatures
    4. Over 4,000 signatures and counting!

      Thank you for adding your name to the petition to prevent Aboriginal deaths in police custody by saving the CNS.

      Your support and the support of your friends and colleagues has been overwhelming to us at the ALS.

      We now have 4,362 signatures, and supporters are signing at the rate of one per minute. This is amazing and bodes well for getting Government attention.

      Please, keep spreading the word and thanks once again for your support.

      Best,
      ALS

    5. Reached 4,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Abdul Tlais AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      Justice needs to be achieved and it is ridiculous to begin eradicating and tossing aside methods put in place to achieve equality and fight for the rights every one deserves.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Walter Bam Brown INVERCARGILL, NEW ZEALAND
      • about 1 year ago

      Its Been Happening far to long

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kynesha temple AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      i am of aboriginal decent and i would like to help

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • about 1 year ago

      Very important, I believe in equal rights

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kylie Jones AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      If it has been proven to save lives at such a small comparative cost, it is mind boggling that there is even the need for this petition.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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