Northern Commander's Message

Commander Janelle Tonkin maintains responsibility for the leadership across Northern Command, which includes the Katherine, Central and Northern Divisions. Monthly public crime statistics are released for the Katherine and Nhulunbuy regions only.

With the release of the crime statics for the November 2019 to October 2020 period, there is now evidence that communities across Northern Command have experienced increases across some crime types and that alcohol is having a significant impact on offences against the person.

Katherine recorded some increases when compared to the previous 12 month period. Assaults increased by 31.9% (152 offences) and sexual assaults increased slightly with a 7.1% increase (2 offence). It is pleasing to report that house break-ins have decreased by 13% (-15 offences), commercial break-ins have decreased by 52.1% (-123 offences) and motor vehicle theft and related offences have decreased by 47.1%

The Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors at licences premises point of sale venues within the Katherine Region, continue to work tirelessly to assist licensees in the prevention of secondary supply of alcohol, which we know significantly contributes to assaults, including domestic violence, other violent offences and trauma on the roads. It is saddening to note that DV related assaults in Katherine have increased by 32.1% (109 incidents) when compared to the previous 12 months data, and alcohol related assaults have increased by 34% (106 incidents). These increases have consistently been noted across the entire Northern Territory.

Nhulunbuy recorded crime reductions across a number of categories, compared with the previous 12 months. Assaults were down -3.2% (-2 offences). House break-ins have only increased by 1 offences an increase of 4.3 % however commercial break-ins have increased by 45.5% (10 offences). Motor vehicle theft and related offences are down by 18.8% (3 incidents). Theft and related offences are down 22.4% (-17 incidents). Property damage offences increased slightly by 6.8% (5 incidents). 

The comparators for these figures are the number of crimes reported in the last 12 months (i.e. from 1 December 2019 to 30 November 2020) compared with the preceding 12 months (i.e. 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019). It is an interesting challenge interrupting and explaining crime data when the events of nearly two years ago have an influence on our statistics today.

Our road policing activities are continuing across the Command. I remind all Territorians to remain vigilant when driving in the wet season, drive to the conditions particularly if driving in heavy rain or across flooded roadways and to ensure their households are cyclone ready. 

The total number of lives lost on NT roads in 2020 was 32; this was three less than in 2019. There have already been two deaths recorded for 2021.