Darwin Metropolitan Commander's message

A/Commander Craig Laidler has responsibility for the Darwin Metropolitan Command, which includes the Darwin, Casuarina, Palmerston and Rural, and Northern Operations Divisions.

Darwin and the Northern Suburbs have experienced a 13% increase in property crime over the last 12 months, driven largely by an increase in break-ins to commercial and residential premises over the Christmas holiday period and during the beginning of 2017. Conversely, motor vehicle theft and related offences are at their lowest levels over the past six years, with a reduction in stealing from motor vehicle offences over the past 12 months. In Palmerston, property crime has increased overall by 14%, driven by an increase in residential break-ins.

Strike Force Trident deals predominantly with property offences, and recidivist property offenders. Strike Force Trident resources were increased in response to the rise in property crime earlier in the year. As a result, a significant number of arrests have been made in relation to property crime and the number of break-ins are trending down particularly over the months of April, May and June.

Offences against the person in Darwin and the Northern Suburbs remain lower than recent years, with a 3% reduction from figures in the previous 12 month period. Assaults have increased slightly in the past year (2%), however other person-based offences (such as sexual assault, harassment and threatening behaviour) have decreased. Palmerston has experienced a 22% increase in offences against the person.

Whilst the number of offences against the person, particularly assault offences, has risen over the last 12 months – due to population growth in this area the number of offences per 100,000 persons remains on par with levels seen between 2012 and 2015.

The Northern Operations Division Community Engagement Unit regularly attend community events and locations including shopping centres and markets across Darwin, Casuarina, Palmerston and the rural area. Community members are able to access crime prevention information and discuss any concerns with police.

The Community Engagement Unit also continues to work closely with victims of property crime to provide advice, awareness and assistance around personal, home and business security.

We also continue to encourage community members to find out more about and become involved with Neighbourhood Watch by visiting their web page, which contains some excellent tips about crime prevention and enhancing your home security profile http://www.nhwnt.org.au/.

Over the school holiday period, police in the Darwin area are also engaged in Operation Lanvin – a three-phase program focussed on education, engagement and enforcement. Police members are working with transit officers as well as security staff at the shopping centres to focus on anti-social behaviour. This includes foot, vehicle and Segway patrols around shopping centres, public transport and other areas during peak periods, which assists in managing public order issues.

Evening and night patrols continue to target hot spot locations to deter and detect suspicious behaviour to prevent property crime.

The Metropolitan Social Order and Engagement Unit continue to work tirelessly tackling antisocial behaviour issues. The community is encouraged to report antisocial behaviour issues using the Police Assistance Line 131 444 or contacting the MSOEU staff directly at: 


We actively encourage you to discuss local issues with your local team, so please feel free to contact your local Police Superintendent as follows:

If you have any information that you wish to share about an issue you think the Police need to be aware of, you can also call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 (callers can remain anonymous when reporting to Crime Stoppers).