Northern Commander's message

Acting Commander Brendan Muldoon will be covering Northern Command while Commander Michael Hebb is on leave. Northern Command includes the Katherine, Central and Northern Divisions.

For the 12 months ending February 2019, the Nhulunbuy region saw significant drops in property offences and offences against the person. Assaults down by 11%, house break-ins down 55%, commercial break-ins being down 38%, theft and related offences (other than motor vehicles) are down 15%. Nhulunbuy police have been working with other agencies, including the Department of Housing and Community Development, providing advice for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design audits to heighten improved security measures. The Nhulunbuy police have also continued their commitment to reducing domestic and family violence. The use of the Family Safety Framework meets fortnightly in order to maintain oversight and assist families with the goal to reducing the risk of harm. This along with targeting recidivist offenders and drivers of domestic and family violence such as alcohol are contributing to reducing incidents of this type of harm in the community.

For the 12 months ending February 2019, Katherine’s total assault offences are up 8% compared with February 2018, this is a reduction of 5% from last month. There is a total of 10 police auxiliary liquor inspectors in Katherine in an effort to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence within the community. While their presence is still very new to the Katherine area, we are starting to see the positive influence of their presence around the community, and I am looking forward to seeing how this initiative plays a role in reducing crime in the region over the coming months.

Property crime in Katherine, particularly break-ins of private and commercial premises, was still significantly up for the 12 months ending February 2019, when comparing the 12 months ending February 2018. Commercial break-ins are up 132% and house break-ins are up 23%. This equates to an overall increase in property related crime by 37%. While these figures are high, there has been a downward trend in property related crime by 17% in February 2019 compared to January 2019.

Operation Pelion commenced in late January 2019 to address the significant spike in property crime. The Pelion team are committed to reduce property crime in Katherine whilst enhancing community confidence in police. Operation Pelion members and the Katherine police are taking positive proactive policing approaches when dealing with property crime offenders and ensuring that property crime offenders are being held to account for their actions.

Katherine police are also engaging with repeat victims and discussing crime reduction strategies including the Biz Secure Grants that are available to businesses to help increase the security on their premises.

I am confident with the police (targeting offenders and holding them to account for their actions) working together with the community (reducing the opportunity for crime by improving security to premises and locking premises) that we will see a reduction in property offending in future months.

Police will continue to promote crime prevention strategies, with tips and information being found on the Neighbourhood Watch NT web page, as well as the Northern Territory (NT) Government Biz Secure program to help eligible Territory businesses improve their security against the risk of break-ins. Owners of licensed premises in the NT may also be eligible to apply for funding to protect alcohol stock from theft and damage. Further information on this funding initiative can be found at Alcohol Secure.

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report all crimes and suspicious behaviour via Triple Zero (000) if the matter is urgent, the police assistance line (131 444) or via Crime Stoppers anonymously (1800 333 000). The reporting of all crime, suspicious and antisocial behaviour allows police to address the offending promptly. It also helps the NT Police Force ensure our intelligence teams are able to best direct police patrols to identified crime and antisocial hotspots across the Northern Command.

We are now entering the end of the Wet Season, but we are not there yet and we should not become complacent. The region can still be affected by cyclones/flooding so this is a timely reminder to ensure that everyone considers their preparedness for such events. Further safety advice can be found on the NT Emergency Service website, with cyclone and floods being the relevant links.