Southern Commander's message

Commander Bradley Currie has responsibility for the Southern Command, which includes the Southern Desert, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek and Barkly Divisions

When reviewing crime statistics for 2018 in comparison to 2017, there are varied outcomes for the Southern Command. Pleasingly, there has been a significant decrease in assault across the region throughout 2018 following considerable increases which peaked in December 2017. Unfortunately there have been unacceptable rises in property crime in both Alice Springs and Tennant Creek during this period.

Across 2018, there was a 7% decrease in total offences against the person in Alice Springs. This included an 8% decrease in assaults as well as a 21% decrease in sexual assault offences. In Tennant Creek there has been 10% reduction in offences against the person during December 2018 with an 8% decrease from 2017. It is evident that policing efforts have successfully reduced the incidents of offences against the person in 2018 with a continued downward trend expected in 2019.

This can be attributed to the successful introduction of a number strategies targeting repeat offenders, decreasing the accessibility of alcohol to problem drinkers in our community and continued enforcement of the Liquor Act. The roll out of Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors (PALIs) continues, with further increases in PALIs in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek due in early 2019. The Alcohol Policing Unit is now active in the Southern Command targeting secondary sale of alcohol and other breaches of the Liquor Act.

Patron numbers at our entertainment venues have remained strong throughout the December 2018 period. Officers from across the command continue to maintain a proactive approach, with a focus on drug use and road safety enforcement. Our members are also targeting responsible drinking in and around licensed premises to reduce the incidences of violence, antisocial behaviour and the harm caused by drugs and excessive and irresponsible alcohol consumption. The Southern Command management team is continuing to work with licensees to improve the amenity of areas surrounding licensed premises. We encourage members of the public to report antisocial behaviour at or around licensed premises so we can better focus our resources to ensure the ongoing safety of members of our community.

Total property offences in Alice Springs are 14% higher and 13% higher in Tennant Creek December 2018 in comparison to 2017. This has been driven by an 83% increase in residential break-ins in Alice Springs and a 70% increase in Tennant Creek. It is evident that in most cases offenders have been targeting keys to steal motor vehicles from premises. There have been a number of operations conducted particularly over the Christmas and Summer School holiday period in an attempt to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in our regional towns. This remains a main focus of policing and multiagency efforts to bring down the current unacceptable rate of break-ins. Police in both regions have continued to work with government and non-government agencies to case manage high risk youth and target offenders and hotspots as part of ongoing preventative measures crime reduction strategies. These have also been enhanced to combat the increase in property crime. Police are also increasing covert and overt patrols in the community using an evidence based and intelligence informed approach to ensure officers are targeting the right areas at the right times.    

In many cases the intelligence is obtained from members of the public reporting suspicious activity within their community. We encourage people 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 police to address the offending promptly and ensures our intelligence teams are able to direct patrols to identified crime and antisocial hotspots within the Southern Command’s area of responsibility.

It is evident that a significant portion of the increase in break-ins is related to opportunistic crime. We are continuing to call on the community to assist police in combating this rise in property crime and ensure their business premises, homes and vehicles are secured at all times. Valuables should not be left within sight or within business premises. Unfortunately we continue to see a significant number of reported break-ins occurring through open or unlocked doors and windows. Police are still promoting crime prevention strategies. More tips and information can be found on the Neighbourhood Watch NT web page, as well as the NT Government Biz Secure program to help eligible Territory businesses improve their security against the risk of break-ins, with more information on this program being found at Biz Secure. Owners of licensed premises in the Northern Territory may be 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.