Darwin and Road Policing Commander's Message

Commander Matthew Hollamby has responsibility for providing leadership to Darwin and Road Policing Command, which includes a divisional structure encompassing Darwin, Casuarina, Nightcliff and Palmerston Police Stations. The Darwin figures are inclusive of Darwin and Casuarina Police Districts, whereas the Palmerston figures include Palmerston Police District.

Since the last commander's message, our response to the COVID-19 health emergency has remained a priority and has presented unprecedented challenges to all types of policing operations. The demand on police resources has grown exponentially including at our borders, airports, Emergency Operations Centre and quarantine facilities. Despite this, there has been a number of positive community outcomes including an ongoing reduction in property crime.

In the 12 month period ending July 2020 in the Darwin and Casuarina Districts, commercial break-ins reduced by 39% compared to the previous 12 months however, an increase in break-ins to residential properties was experienced. There was a 4.2% increase in residential break-ins reported during this 12 months period. In Palmerston for the same period, there were 42 more (12.4%) house break-ins and 58 less (-35.6%) commercial break-ins.

It can be challenging comparing rolling sum statistics because events of two years ago have an influence on our statistics today. As an example, the Greater Darwin area had a spike in residential break-ins through October 2019 and these are still been counted in the current year. July 2020 saw the lowest levels of property crime by month in both Darwin and Palmerston in the last two years.

Throughout the command, there have been ongoing collaborative initiatives with key partner agencies to prevent crime. These include working with local councils and other Government departments, targeted patrolling (hot-spot mapping) and the temporary closure of some laneways.

Assaults and violent crimes have remained relatively static across the Darwin and Palmerston areas. Darwin has seen a marginal increase of 6.1% whilst Palmerston increased by 8.4%. Alcohol and domestic violence continue to be factors in crimes of violence and it is tragic for anyone to think it is acceptable to assault a family member. The Northern Territory Police Force has invested a significant amount of resources to tackle the scourge of domestic violence and is working closely with other relevant government departments to protect the innocent and vulnerable Territorians.

Our road policing activities are continuing across the command despite some minor operational changes due to COVID-19 response. The number of lives lost on NT roads currently stands at 20 compared to 22 this time last year.