Southern Commander's message

Commander Bradley Currie leads the Southern Command, which includes the Southern Desert, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek and Barkly Divisions.

The Southern Command continues to have varied outcomes regarding crime statistics; ongoing success regarding the downward trend of offences against the person inclusive of domestic violence offences has continued. Whilst it is evident that property offences are trending down unfortunately the 12 monthly year on year results remain high for both Alice Springs and Tennant Creek due to the unacceptable increases observed in late 2018.

There is a 24% decrease or 537 less incidents of offences against the person in Alice Springs. This included a 25% decrease in total assaults; a 21% decrease in domestic violence related assaults and 20% decrease in reported sexual assault offences. In Tennant Creek, there has been a 21% reduction in offences against the person; this includes a 32% decrease in domestic assaults from year on year statistics to the end of April 2019. It is evident that policing efforts have successfully reduced the incidents of offences against the person with ongoing strategies targeting repeat offenders, decreasing the accessibility of alcohol to problem drinkers in our community and continued enforcement of the Liquor Act 1978 all contributing to success in this area.

Officers from across the command continue to maintain a proactive approach to alcohol related crime along with a focus on drug use and road safety enforcement inclusive of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. 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 across the Command. We encourage members of the public to report antisocial behaviour at or around licensed premises or around our communities to ensure we can focus our resources through an intelligence informed and evidenced based approach to crime, anti-social behaviour and public safety.

Total property offences in Alice Springs are 12% higher in comparison to last year a reduction from 16% higher last month, while in Tennant Creek there has been a 12% increase in crime against property in comparison to the same time last year. The increase in Alice Springs has been driven by a 93% increase in residential break-ins. Whilst this rate remains unacceptably high the rate continues to decrease following a peak in the year on year statistics to the month of February (114%) and March (105%). This amounts to a decrease of 21% since February 2019 with indications that there has been further decreases in May 2019 in comparison to 2018. Similarly motor vehicle theft and related offences remain high with 29% increase in Alice Springs and 41% increase in Tennant Creek. Although there was a decrease in motor vehicle theft in both locations in the month of April 2019 compared to previous months the year on year statistics will remain high due to unfortunate peaks in late 2018 and early 2019.

Through a multi-agency integrated response to crime and anti-social behaviour via Operation Marsh and the Tennant Creek Family Cross-over Committee, the Southern Command continues to work with the Northern Territory Government (NTG) and non-government agencies to case manage high risk youth and target offenders and hotspots as part of ongoing preventative measures to reduce the rates of property crime. There are also a number of operations being planned and undertaken in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and surrounding communities as we approach the winter months This includes Operation Omaru, a multi-agency proactive operation to address the likely increase in youth related disturbances often observed during the school holiday period. Police will work with a number of agencies as part of the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ initiative and conduct joint patrols with Youth Engagement Officers and Housing Officers to address crime and anti-social behaviour

The welcoming decrease in daily temperatures normally results in a significant increase in tourist numbers and visitors to the region. This along with a large number of events including the AFL Football and Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Show days in the July 2019 school holiday period results in an increase in the population and vehicles on our roads. There will be a considerable increase in Road Policing activities across the Southern Command targeting drink and drug driving along with speeding to ensure the safety of all community members and visitors to our region.

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.

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 webpage, as well as the NTG Biz Secure program to help eligible NT 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 NT 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.