Southern Commander's message

A/Commander Neil Hayes has responsibility for the Southern Command, which includes Central Desert, Tennant Creek and Barkly, and Alice Springs Divisions.

Overall, Alice Springs residential break-ins continue to track down on the previous 12 months by 14%. This in part is due to the continued good work by both our general duties response team as well as the officers attached to Strike Force Winx and hopefully due to the strong prevention messages and advice that has been provided to the community on how to reduce the risks of being a target of opportunistic thieves. Unfortunately however our commercial break-ins continue to sit higher than we would like, at 32% up on the same time last year. Alcohol remains a common item being targeted in these offences along with other smaller items of value.

In an effort to further reduce these numbers we have recently announced our Crime Prevention and Safety Expo that will be held in Alice Springs on Saturday 8 April. Held at the Council Lawns, the expo will consist of presentations from police and other stakeholders on ways to further increase personal and home security and hopefully reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime, so we encourage everyone to come along.

Tackling violence, in particular domestic and family violence, across the region remains a key focus too, and I am pleased that we are still seeing decreases in the numbers of ‘offences against the person’, with a 14% reduction in this area. While the number of reported incidents remaining high and presence of alcohol remains, we are still seeing a much lower levels of violence in many of these cases when compared to previous years. That said there is still a way to go.  This was further strengthened with the signing of an information sharing agreement with the NPY Women’s Council to allow us to provide a stronger and more coordinated approach to assisting those in need of help as a result of domestic violence particularly in our cross border region with South Australia and Western Australia and remote communities across the central desert region.

Tennant Creek paints a slightly different picture and unfortunately remains higher in most areas for the period when compared to the same period last year. They are following historical lows in crime statistics in the region in recent years, and total victim-based crime remains lower than three to six years ago.

In regards to break-ins, Tennant Creek has experienced quite the opposite to Alice Springs with residential break-ins higher, up 58%, however on a positive note commercial break-ins are down by 9%. Again much of this offending was very opportunistic and a result of unsecured premises with unlocked doors and windows making things all too easy for the offenders.

Alcohol too remains present in many of the reports of ‘offences against the person’ with the numbers again being up on last year by 18%, with the majority associated with domestic violence.  We will continue to focus on the early intervention and alcohol management to hopefully see this figure reduce going forward.