Northern Commander's Message

Commander Michael Hebb is in charge of the Northern Command, which includes the Katherine, Central and Northern Divisions.

The release of crime statistics for the July 2018 to June 2019 period continues to demonstrate that Police and the community are experiencing reductions in a number of crime categories across the Northern Command. That said, there is still opportunity to reduce offending further, and the NT Police are committed to working with others to achieve a safer community.

With regards to property offences, the targeted policing activities implemented within Katherine, which places a strong focus on enhanced engagement with the community, continues to realise reductions in some offence types, including Commercial Break-ins. There are a number of cross-agency groups that work collaboratively with NT Police to manage/support persons at risk of offending and to reduce offences. Whilst the June crime stats show commercial break-ins are up 59%, this is the sixth month in a row where there have been reductions. The trend is evident that monthly reductions are being achieved in such offences, and the focus on further reductions will continue. As previously reported, the implementation of Operation Pelion in Katherine in February 2019 is one of the contributing factors towards the reduction of property crime.

House Break-ins have also reduced on year to year crime stats, which has seen these offences go from being up 13%, as of May 2019, to now being up 3% as of June 2019.

Since January 2019, there has been a consistent reduction in assault offences, with the latest stats for June 2019 showing assaults being down 8%, which is an excellent achievement when considering that assaults were up 13% just six months ago for year on year data. The commitment of our Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors at licensed premises within the Katherine region has been a key contributor to the reductions in assaults, including Domestic Violence, and other alcohol related harm.

For the reporting period of July 2018 to June 2019 Motor Vehicle theft and related offences were up 11%. Whilst this is a good reduction from when it was up 30% for the previous month’s crime statistics, there are more opportunities to reduce such offences.  As per previous messages, I encourage the community to ensure opportunity for the stealing of, and from, motor vehicles is minimised. There have been a number of occasions where a car is stolen/accessed after a house or commercial premises is broken into and the keys to a vehicle are easily identified/located. It is recommended that car keys aren’t easily accessed or sighted when at home or work, for example; keys not left on a table at the rear of a house or hanging on the wall/placed in a drawer at a business premises. Removing easy access to car keys will further assist in reducing the potential for motor vehicle related offences.  



House Break-ins

Commercial Break-ins

12 months ending Dec 2018 compared to 12 months ending Dec 2017

Up 9%

Up 27%

Up 223%

12 months ending Jan 2019 compared to 12 months ending Jan 2018

Up 13%

Up 34%

Up 202%

12 months ending Feb 2019 compared to 12 months ending Feb 2018

Up 8%

Up 23%

Up 132%

12 months ending Mar 2019 compared to 12 months ending Mar 2018

Up 4%

Up 11%

Up 117%

12 months ending Apr 2019 compared to 12 months ending Apr 2018

Up 1%

Up 17%

Up 109%

12 months ending May 2019 compared to 12 months ending May 2018

Down 3%

Up 13%

Up 70%

12 months ending Jun 2019 compared to 12 months ending June 2018

Down 8%

Up 3%

Up 59%

Offences against the person within the Nhulunbuy region for the 12 month period ending June 2019, are 26% below the same period ending June 2018, with no real variance from the previous month’s statistics.  Additionally, property offences for the Nhulunbuy region is down 25% for the 12 month period ending June 2019, when compared to the previous 12 month period, with house break-ins being down 47% and commercial break-ins being down 47%. Nhulunbuy Police are continuing to effectively engage and work with other agencies and local groups to identify and implement crime prevention strategies across the region.

As highlighted in previous messages, we are in the ‘Dry Season’, which traditionally leads to an increase in the number of road users, particularly with tourists travelling through the Northern Territory. I continue to urge the community to plan road trips well ahead and to factor in the potential of additional traffic. Recent police operations have detected some disappointing results with regards to compliance with road rules. Regional and remote NT communities can expect further policing operations targeting road safety. We need people to take care on the roads, to drive responsibly, to swear seat belts, to not exceed speed limits and to not get behind the wheel whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is all our responsibility to drive so others survive.

Police will continue to promote crime prevention strategies, with tips and information being 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. 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.

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. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous. The reporting of all crime, suspicious and antisocial behaviour allows officers to address the offending promptly. It also helps the NT Police Force ensure our intelligence teams are able to best direct police patrols to identified crime and antisocial hotspots across the Northern Command.