Southern Commander's message

Commander Michael White has responsibility for the Southern Command, which includes the Southern Desert, Southern Investigations and Alice Springs Divisions.

Throughout July to September Alice Springs observes a considerable increase in visitors. This can be attributed to the school holiday period along with the cooler weather enticing people to the red centre. Officers were impressed with the behaviour of crowds at the Red Centre NATS and two football finals in the region. Unfortunately the increase in visitors does see an increase in sporadic opportunistic crime in our community. Alice Springs police made an appeal for members of the community to assist in reducing youth crime as part of Operation Carina during the lead up to the school holidays. The multi-agency approach aims to address crime and antisocial behaviour to ensure resources are being used effectively and efficiently across the whole of the region as we continue to build a safe community through prevention, integrity and unity.

Total property offences in Alice Springs are 14% higher in comparison to the 12 month ending in September. This has been driven by a 69% increase in residential break-ins, with offenders targeting portable items such as cash and motor vehicles. At the same time the yearly comparison to 2017 indicates a 9% increase in commercial break-ins. 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.

Opportunistic crime continues to occur and community members are encouraged to 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, which sometimes result in car thefts and hooning. It is a timely reminder to the community to ensure that doors and windows are secure and that valuable items, including car keys, are kept out of sight even when residents are at home to prevent their house being targeted. The Northern Territory Police Force continue 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.

Although offences against the person, including assaults, remain 14% higher in comparison to year on year data to September, the efforts of Operation Haven since February are being rewarded. The data is showing a continual downward trend of domestic violence related assaults year on year, following a peak in January of 26%. It is clear 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. Police issued a number of liquor infringement notices during the month and destroyed alcohol that was bound for dry communities.

Southern Command police were also involved in arresting people on a number of drug charges. This includes one instance involving South Australian Police, the Cross Border Team and our own Southern Drug Investigation Unit which saw a quantity of the drug ‘Ice’ worth more than $40,000 seized. 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 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.