Making a difference with safer communities

27 January 2012
Commissioner John McRoberts congratulates past and present remote members for their efforts in promoting NT Police’s goal of delivering a quality service to keep people safe in communities across the Territory.
Off the hook group
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A recently released research report has provided some positive news for NT Police working in remote stations across the Territory.  Commissioner McRoberts said that the report clearly shows a majority of residents from remote communities are feeling safer.

“We have set ourselves the challenging goal of making remote communities safer and therefore better places to live.  The research shows that we are getting results and it is anticipated that improved safety will greatly help in setting the scene for closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage. 

“In addition, we have made a significant positive contribution to community engagement within remote communities, especially the interaction with Indigenous youth.  Community engagement projects are vital the continuation of strong relationships between community members and the NT Police.

“These results are very encouraging and I congratulate staff in remote areas for their efforts,” Commissioner McRoberts said.

The independent Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) Evaluation Report 2011 was released in November 2011.  It was based on a survey of 1343 residents from 16 of the communities that were part of the NTER.  It showed that 58.7% felt their lives were better than they were three years ago and that 72.6% said their community was safer.  Around 76% of those surveyed felt it was now easier to get help from Police.

There was widespread support for the increased Police effort. In what was a vote of confidence in the Police Service, a majority would like to see an even greater Police presence in remote regions.  Following the NTER, people were given the opportunity to report offences in a way they were previously unable to do.  Consequently there was an increase in recorded crime following the NTER, although there is evidence this has stabilised.  This was seen as an indication of the high level of unreported crime pre-NTER being addressed. 

The remote policing effort is critical work in closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.  Establishing an acceptable level of community safety is a necessary precondition that will allow the much needed improvements in community socio-economic levels to occur.

The full report is available at:

http://www.facs.gov.au/sa/indigenous/pubs/nter_reports/Documents/nter_evaluation_report_2011.PDF