The Police Commissioner has expressed his extreme disappointment at the behaviour of a large group following a disturbance at Charles Creek camp in Alice Springs last night.
At around 3:00am, police attended the location and observed approximately 150 people gathering and displaying anti-social behaviour.
Police were explaining the restrictions relating to the COVID-19 virus and mass gatherings, when a group of around 60 people became aggressive towards police and started to throw bottles. Police disengaged and requested further assistance. The group dispersed upon the arrival of more police.
Commissioner Jamie Chalker said this conduct towards police and reports of rocks being thrown at a St John ambulance and a taxi are completely unacceptable.
“Frontline responders are leading the way to ensure the safety of people and to save lives.
“We have no time for ignorance. We need everyone to bond together.
“Mass gatherings go completely against the national messaging and the high importance that everyone is placing around self-quarantine at the moment, ensuring appropriate social distancing.
“The sad reality is, the many moves we are making are based on the fact we know there is a vulnerable cohort living in the Northern Territory. We are taking many steps to ensure that those people have a significant likelihood of surviving COVID-19.
“Many are Aboriginal people, and I need leadership in those communities to make sure that there is a higher level of education and awareness because the behaviour that we saw last night is completely unacceptable.
“I’ll certainly be making phone calls to key leaders that I know and have a great working relationship with.
“I am tapping into the Aboriginal leadership because there have been many messages being put out particularly through social media, many in language. It is beyond comprehension that nobody amongst that 150 in particular, or those who are parents or guardians of those juveniles, would have no awareness of COVID-19, nor the strict measures we have moved to.”