Darwin Commander's message

Commander Travis Wurst has responsibility for providing leadership to Darwin Command, which includes the Darwin, Casuarina, Palmerston (including Adelaide River and Batchelor Police Station) and Alcohol Policing Divisions. The Darwin statistics encompasses Darwin and Casuarina. The Palmerston statistics includes Palmerston and the surrounds.

Overall for the 12 month period ending January 2019 compared with the 12 month period ending January 2018, the total reported offences in Darwin for the month of January 2019 were down again by 4% compared to the same period last year. This includes a reduction in the total property offences of 4%. This was driven by a 5% reduction in commercial unlawful entries, motor vehicle stealing and related offences dropping by 6% and property damage down by 20%. There was also a 4% decrease in the number of assaults with 6% less being reported as alcohol related.

Overall for the 12 month period ending January 2019 compared with the 12 month period ending January 2018, total offences against a person in Palmerston were down by 9% with assault offences down by 12% and alcohol related assaults down by 10%. There was a 1% increase in the total number of property offences, but motor vehicle related theft and related offences were down by 20%. For the same period in Palmerston, residential unlawful entries decreased by 3% but there was an increase of 24% in commercial unlawful entries. This increase can be attributed to the increase in the number of new commercial businesses in the Palmerston area that are being targeted by offenders. 

The men and women of your police force all worked very hard across the festive period under Operation Provis to ensure crime would not disrupt anyone’s enjoyment of the holiday season. We’d like to thank the community and our partner agencies for their support across this period through the collaborative operation used as the vehicle for success. This sets the bar for 2019 where we will continue to work together as a strong, vibrant and connected community, resilient against those who do not respect the law and wish to do us harm.

It is pleasing to see alcohol related assaults reduced across the Command in January 2019 as police have worked 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. The Alcohol Policing Unit are working with licensed and Government to reduce the impact alcohol is having on crime across the greater Darwin area. We continue to encourage these businesses to make efforts to control access to their liquor supplies through accessing support through initiatives such as the Alcohol Secure program.

Unfortunately society has changed and it is no longer safe to leave your home or business unsecured or to leave your vehicle keys in a location that is easily accessible to criminals. Please take measures to make it hard for those in our community who wish to violate our homes and businesses and steal from you. Don’t leave items of value visible within your vehicles, lock your homes and businesses, 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. 

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 reporting of these crimes and this type of behaviour allows police to address the offending promptly. It also ensures our intelligence teams are able to direct patrols to identified crime and antisocial hotspots within the Command. The assistance provided by the public and the tireless efforts of our members enabled police to charge a number of people with property related offences and other associated crimes.

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. One of the challenges is decreasing the serious crashes related to pedestrians being struck by vehicles. We need to take extra care when driving at night in and around developed areas for pedestrians who may be walking on roads. 

Although it has been a light monsoon thus far, the Wet Season is not yet over for the Top End. More weather may be upon us in the near future which brings with it the need to remind households to ensure their cyclone kits are fully stocked and you have a plan in place. The Secure NT and Northern Territory Emergency Service websites are trusted sources of information. They contain tips and advice on what to do during a severe weather event, as well as road related incidents and closures.