Southern Commander's message

Acting Commander Bradley Currie has responsibility for the Southern Command, which includes the Southern Desert, Southern Investigations and Alice Springs Divisions.

Traditionally during the month of May there is a downward trend in property crime and antisocial behaviour in Alice Springs.  This can normally be attributed to the cooler temperatures. Unfortunately a crime series at the start of May resulted in an increase in property crime for the month. Whilst the year-on-year statistics for total property offences remains lower at 7% there has been a 2% increase in house break ins in comparison to 2017.  Whilst pleasing to see a 13% drop in commercial break ins in comparison to the year-on-year figures, it is evident there has been an increase in the month of May. Fortunately police from Operation Dawson acted quickly to identify many of the offenders who have now been placed before the court or are subject to youth diversionary programs. This has resulted in a significant decline in reported property crime through the latter part of May and it is evident that this downward trend will continue throughout the next reporting period.  

The Southern Command crime reduction units, including the Youth and Community Engagement Team and Strike Force Winx, will continue to work closely with other government and non-government departments through the coordination of resources throughout 2018 as part of Operation Dawson to prevent crime throughout Alice Springs. It is anticipated that proactive work with identified youth and their families will ensure that we do not see an increase in activity in coming months as we did in early May.

Opportunistic theft continues to occur and I encourage community members to ensure their business premises, homes and vehicles are secured at all times and valuables are not left within sight or within business premises. Unfortunately we continue to see a significant numbers of reported break ins occurring through open or unlocked doors.

Operation Haven commenced in February 2018 with the aim of reversing the trends and reducing the incidents of assault, specifically Domestic and Family Violence and alcohol-related harm in the region. The operation is based on an intelligence sharing and partnership model incorporating representatives from all Government and some non-Government agencies. Activities are directed and intelligence shared through daily interagency coordination meetings, led by Police. In recognition of the success of this operation the framework established will continue throughout 2018 as we continue to strive to prevent and reduce incidents of Domestic and Family Violence in the NT.

Offences against the person, including assaults, remain high in comparison to year-on-year data to May with an increase in 24% in comparison to 2017. Despite this, there is clear indication throughout recent reporting periods that domestic violence related assaults are trending down in comparison to the previous quarterly reporting.

It is evident that alcohol continues to be a factor in many assaults. Local police continue to target the misuse of alcohol and all other causal factors relating to assault through targeted intelligence-led operations. This includes temporary beat locations, policing the illegal supply of alcohol and high profile licensed premises patrols.

Additional resources allocated to the Southern Desert Division has enabled the establishment of the Southern and Barkly Regional Support Unit (SBRSU) resulting in an increase in police presence in remote communities along with providing a relief and surge capacity for remote stations and areas.  This increase in resourcing provides the continued opportunity to work in partnership with the community to ensure a safe and resilient NT.

The dry season is now upon us resulting in an increase in travel throughout the NT and interstate. The NT has seen an increase in fatalities and road trauma in comparison to previous years and I encourage members of the public to drive safely and to the conditions.  Members of the Southern Traffic Operations Unit will continue to support road safety campaigns and will target speeding, drunk and drug driving and other traffic offences across the region.

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report all crimes and suspicious behaviour via 000 if the matter is urgent or to 131 444 or via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. The reporting of all crime, suspicious and antisocial behaviour, allows police to address the offending promptly. It also ensures our intelligence teams are able to direct patrols to identified crime and antisocial hotspots within the Southern Command’s area of responsibility.

NT Police continues to encourage the community to access the Neighbourhood Watch NT website which provides some practical tips on how you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim. The community is also reminded that if you have any information you wish to share about an issue you think NT Police should be aware of, you can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 (callers can remain anonymous).