Northern Commander's Message

Commander Janelle Tonkin maintains responsibility for providing leadership to northern command, which includes the Katherine, Central and northern divisions. The Katherine and Nhulunbuy crime statistics encompass all three divisions.

Since the last commander’s messages were published, the COVID-19 pandemic continues as a priority for police in the response to keeping Territorians safe. Border Check Points remain in place at all road, rail, sea and airports throughout the Territory and in excess of 72,000 people have entered the Northern Territory since our borders re-opened on 17 July 2020. The collective work done to keep Territorians safe is nothing short of astounding.

With the release of the crime statistics for the August 2019 to July 2020 period, there continues to be evidence that communities across the northern command have experienced positive reductions in all crime categories, however an increase in the consumption of alcohol is beginning to have an effect on reported crime rates.

Katherine recorded reductions across the vast majority of crime categories when compared to the previous 12 month period. Assaults were down 1.7%. Sexual assaults were down 8.0%. Unfortunately house break-ins increased slightly by 3.3%.

The Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors at licensed premises within the Katherine Region have continued to contribute to the reduction in assaults, including domestic violence, and other violent offences, by reducing the availability and abuse of liquor. DV related assaults in Katherine are remain down on the previous 12 months data, by 3.8%%  and alcohol related assaults are down 1.4%, however this is an increase on last month’s data.

Nhulunbuy has also recorded crime reductions across a number of categories, compared with the previous 12 months. Assaults were down 21.6%. House break-ins have increased slightly however commercial break-ins have reduced by 33.3%. Motor vehicle theft and related offences are down by 56.3%. Theft and related offences are down 26%. Property damage offences are also down 28.9%. 

The comparators for these figures are the number of crimes reported in the last 12 months (i.e. from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020) compared with the preceding 12 months (i.e. 1 July 2018 to 30 June 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 commend all Territorians for their behaviour on NT roads over the last few months but also remind drivers to remain vigilant and drive to the conditions, particularly if towing a caravan or boat.

The number of lives lost on NT roads remains at 20 compared to 22 at the same time last year.