Southern Commander's message

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

Alice Springs observed a 6% reduction in total property crime for 2017 in contrast to 2016. This includes an 8% reduction in commercial break-ins and a 23% drop in motor vehicle theft and relates offences. Property crime has continued to trend down throughout the latter part of 2017. There has been a 16% and 14% drop in house break-ins and commercial break-ins respectively in the first six months of the financial year in comparison to last year’s statistics. It is evident that the coordinated whole-of-government approach to crime and anti-social behaviour over the summer school holiday through Operational Shulton has supported this trend. It is expected that the positive results in property crime reduction will continue through the January crime statistics.

The Southern Command crime reduction units such as the Youth and Community Engagement Team and Strike Force Winx will continue to work closely with other government and non-government departments through the coordination of resources in 2018. This collaborative and integrated approach to crime and anti-social behaviour has impacted property crime throughout what is generally a peak crime period in Alice Springs. Unfortunately, there have been a number of sporadic property crime series committed by small groups of offenders. This has reduced the positive impact of what has been a successful Operation and an overall reduction in property crime in Alice Springs.

Unfortunately, a number of house-breaks in and thefts from motor vehicles have resulted from unsecured homes and vehicles. In the case of thefts from vehicles, this has included valuables left within and in plain sight. Opportunistic theft continues to occur and I encourage community members to ensure their homes are secured at all times and valuables are not left within sight.

Unfortunately, offences against the person, including assaults, are trending up across the NT.  In Alice Springs assault offences have increased 19% over 2017 in comparison to 2016.  Although sexual assault and related offences are down 16% over the year and 34% in the last six months of 2017, assaults involving domestic violence have risen 14%.

The Southern Command will receive a significant resource boost in April 2018 with the graduation of 32 officers from recruit squad 133, with all but one of this cadre of officers being deployed within the Southern Command. The squad consists of officers who have substantial policing experience from interstate and New Zealand. The expansion in resources will allow for an increase in proactive crime reduction operations within the Southern Command that will focus on alcohol-fuelled violence and antisocial behaviour in our community.

Detectives from Strike Force Winx and officers from the Youth and Community Engagement and Social Order Teams are proactively patrolling 24 hours a day. Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report all crimes and suspicious behaviour via 000 if the matter is urgent or to 131 444 or via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. The reporting of all crime, suspicious and antisocial behaviour allows officers to address the offending promptly and ensures our intelligence teams are able to direct police patrols to identified crime and anti-social hotspots within the Southern Command’s area of responsibility.

School is now back and officers from the Southern Traffic Operations will be conducting a number of high profile traffic enforcement campaigns over the coming months. They are concentrating on school zones, and drink and drug driving in Alice Springs, on our highways and in our remote communities. The Southern Command area of responsibility is over-represented in the number of fatal crashes and drivers are reminded of the fatal five factors:

  • Speeding;
  • Drink and Drug driving;
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt;
  • Driving while fatigued; and
  • Distraction and Inattention

NT Police continues to 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 when reporting to Crime Stoppers).