Darwin Commander's message

Commander Travis Wurst leads the Darwin Command, which includes the Darwin, Casuarina, Palmerston (including Adelaide River and Batchelor Police Station) and Alcohol Policing Divisions. Crime results for Darwin statistics includes Darwin and Casuarina. The Palmerston results include Palmerston and surrounds.

Overall for the 12 month period ending March 2019 compared with the 12 month period ending March 2018, across the Northern Territory, there was a reported decease in assaults and this was reflected in both Darwin and Palmerston with 8% and 16% deceases respectively.  Pleasingly, this trend was reflected in decreases in both domestic violence and alcohol related assaults also.

Across the March 2019 reporting period, the total reported offences in Darwin saw a rise with a 2% increase compared to the same period last year. There was an increase in house break-ins (22%) and theft and related offences (10%) which was offset by a decrease in property damage of 13%.

Overall for the 12 month period ending March 2019 compared with the 12 month period ending March 2018, total property offences in Palmerston decreased by 4% with house break-ins increasing by 1% and property damage also up by 3%.  The overall decrease was driven by an 8% decrease in motor vehicle theft and a 12% decreased in theft and related offences.   

Coming off a strong February 2019, Strikeforce Trident worked closely with General Duties Police across the Darwin Command to target property crime hotspot locations with a number of arrests made during the month of March 2019.  This was focused on house break-ins as a trend was observed where such premises were being targeted.  Opportunistic offending still makes up a large proportion of the house break-ins that occur whereby a house is left unlocked or unsecured.

Alcohol related assaults have continued trending downward across the Command in March 2019 as police continue to work hard to reduce harm in this area. The misuse of alcohol however continues to be a driver of antisocial behaviour, violent offending and property crime, particularly for commercial unlawful entries at businesses with alcohol on their premises. We continue to encourage businesses, who stock alcohol, to make efforts to control access to their liquor supplies through accessing support through initiatives such as the Alcohol Secure program.

Police have also seen a disturbing trend whereby people are substituting commercially available alcohol for non-consumable products such as alcohol based mouth wash and food essences.  Police are working with other Government Departments to reduce the risk this risky and dangerous behaviour poses to those who are making these choices so as to minimise harm to those individuals.

The Darwin Command five year average relating to houses being unlawfully entered when either unlocked or unsecured is 42%.  Unfortunately society has changed and we can no longer be complacent about our home, business or vehicle security. Continue to secure your premises and your vehicles to reduce opportunistic crime.  The partnership between police and the community is a very important one and together we need to remove opportunities for criminals to commit offences against us so that you do not become an unnecessary victim. Please take the appropriate measures to make it difficult for criminals who wish to violate our homes and businesses. Don’t leave items of value visible within your vehicles, lock your businesses and homes (even when you are at home), secure your vehicle keys and seek support from Victims of Crime NT around home safety or access grant programs such as Biz Secure to increase the security of commercial businesses.  Find out more about and become involved with Neighbourhood Watch by visiting their web page. It contains some excellent tips on crime prevention and enhancing your home security profile. Basic security enhancements are known effective crime prevention strategies.

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report all crimes and suspicious or antisocial behaviour via 000 if the matter is urgent, or to 131 444 or via Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000. The National threat assessment is also currently at Probable and, although there is no specific risk or concerns in Darwin about terrorism, the events in New Zealand and Sri Lanka mean that we, as a community, must remain aware but not alerted.  If you see, hear or observe on social media something that is out of the ordinary, please report this to local police (131 444) or the National Security Hotline on 1800 123400.  More information can be obtained from the National Security website.

Police ask the community as road users to take care on the roads and drive to the conditions so we can work towards zero serious injuries and deaths on our roads.  Police over the coming months will continue to conduct a number of high profile traffic enforcement campaigns and drivers are reminded of the fatal five:

  • speeding;
  • drink and drug driving;
  • failure to wear a seatbelt;
  • driving while fatigued; and
  • distraction and inattention.