Southern Commander's message

Acting Commander Bradley Currie has responsibility for the Southern Command which includes the Southern Desert, Southern Investigations and Alice Springs Divisions.

From June, Alice Springs observes a considerable increase in visitors. This can be attributed to school holiday periods as well as the cooler weather enticing ‘grey nomads’ and international tourists to the red centre. Unfortunately the increase in visitors does see an increase in sporadic opportunistic crime in our community. Members of the public are reminded lock their residence, business premises and vehicles and ensure they don’t leave valuables in clear view.

Property crime in Alice Springs remains lower in comparison to the previous 12 months ending in June, with total property offences down 11%. This has been driven by a decrease in commercial break ins of 16%. Whilst the January to June yearly comparison to 2017 indicates continual downward trend in regards to commercial property crime, we have had an increase in house break ins recently.  

The Southern Command crime reduction units, including the Youth and Community Engagement Team and Strike Force Winx continue to work closely with other government and non-government departments through the coordination of resources to prevent property crime. Strike Force Winx have arrested a number of offenders in relation to break ins and will continue to provide proactive engagement with persons of interest, along with covert and overt patrols within the community.

Opportunistic theft continues to occur and I encourage community members to ensure their business premises, homes and vehicles are secured at all times and valuables are not left within sight or within business premises. Unfortunately we continue to see a significant numbers of reported break ins occurring through open or unlocked doors.

Although offences against the person, including assaults, remain high in comparison to year on year data to June with an increase in 22% in comparison to 2017, there is clear indication throughout recent reporting periods that domestic violence related assaults are trending down in comparison to the previous quarterly reporting. There has been a 7% decrease in a quarterly comparisons to the first three months of this year.

It is evident that alcohol continues to be a factor in many assaults and local police continue to target the misuse of alcohol and all other causal factors relating to assault through targeted intelligence-led operations including temporary beat locations, illegal supply of alcohol and high profile licensed premises patrols.

Operation Haven commenced in February 2018 with the aim of reversing the trends and reducing the incidents of assault, specifically Domestic and Family Violence and alcohol-related harm in the region. The operation is based on an intelligence sharing and partnership model incorporating representatives from all Government and some non-Government agencies. Activities are directed and intelligence shared through frequent interagency coordination meetings.

The first squad of Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors (PALI) will graduate in August 2018. Following a period of ‘On the Job Training’ the officers will commence Point of Sale Intervention duties providing an increase in our presence at takeaway outlets. They will focus on a reduction of liquor supplied to problem drinkers and consumption of alcohol in prohibited areas and restricted premises. They will also allow frontline officers to focus on preventative patrols and operations.  

Additional resources allocated to the Southern Desert Division earlier in the year have enabled the establishment of the Southern and Barkly Regional Support Unit (SBRSU). This has resulted in an increase in police presence in remote communities, along with providing a relief and surge capacity for remote stations and areas.

Officers from the Southern Command will continue to work with government and non-government agencies to prevent crime and antisocial behaviour in our communities. New operations and strategies are being developed to ensure our resources are being used effectively and efficiently across the whole of the region as we continue to build a safe community by focussing on prevention, integrity and unity.

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report all crimes and suspicious behaviour via 000 if the matter is urgent, or to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. The reporting of all crime and suspicious and antisocial behaviour allows police to address the offending promptly and ensures our intelligence teams are able to direct patrols to identified hotspots within the Southern Command’s area of responsibility.

NT Police encourage the community to access the Neighbourhood Watch NT website which provides some practical tips on how you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim. The community is also reminded that if you have any information you wish to share about an issue you think NT Police should be aware of, you can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 (callers can remain anonymous).