Southern Commander's message

Commander Bradley Currie leads the Southern Command, which includes the Southern Desert, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek and Barkly Divisions.

The Southern Command continues to have varied outcomes regarding crime statistics; ongoing success regarding the downward trend of offences against the person inclusive of domestic violence offences across the region continues throughout 2019 inclusive of the March reporting period. Unfortunately, whilst there are positive indications regarding property crime, the 12 monthly statistics remain high for both Alice Springs and Tennant Creek; this along with a considerably low rate in early 2018 has led to high year on year statistical reporting.

Pleasingly, there is a 22% decrease or 477 less incidents of offences against the person in Alice Springs. This included a 22% decrease in total assaults; a 19% decrease in domestic violence related assaults and 28% decrease in reported sexual assault offences. In Tennant Creek there has been a 22% reduction in offences against the person; this includes a 24% decrease in assaults from year on year statistics to end of February 2019, inclusive of a 33% decrease in domestic related assaults. It is evident that policing efforts have successfully reduced the incidents of offences against the person with ongoing strategies targeting repeat offenders, decreasing the accessibility of alcohol to problem drinkers in our community and continued enforcement of the Liquor Act all contributing to success in this area.

Police from across the command continue to maintain a proactive approach to alcohol related crime, along with a focus on drug use and road safety enforcement inclusive of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Our members are also targeting responsible drinking in and around licensed premises to reduce the incidences of violence, antisocial behaviour and the harm caused by drugs and excessive and irresponsible alcohol consumption. The Southern Command management team is continuing to work with licensees to improve the amenity of areas surrounding licensed premises across the Command. We encourage members of the public to report antisocial behaviour at or around licensed premises or around our communities to ensure we can focus our resources through an intelligence informed and evidenced base approach to crime, anti-social behaviour and public safety.

Total property offences in Alice Springs are 16% higher in comparison to last year, whilst in Tennant Creek there has been a 1% decrease in crime against property in comparison to the same time last year. The increase in Alice Springs has been driven by a 105% increase in residential break-ins.  Pleasingly when reviewing the last three months, there are indications the numbers of house break-ins particularly in Alice Springs continues to trend down following the peak in November. Through a multi-agency integrated response to crime and anti-social behaviour via Operation Marsh the Southern Command continues to work with government and non-government agencies to case manage high risk youth and target offenders and hotspots as part of ongoing preventative measures to reduce the rates of property crime.

There are a number of operations being planned and undertaken in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and surrounding communities as we approach the winter months.  The welcoming decrease in daily temperatures normally results in a significant increase in tourist numbers and visitors to the region.  This along with a large number of events including the Finke Desert Race in June; and the AFL Football and Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Show days in the July school holiday period results in an increase in the population and vehicles on our roads.   Our mission during this period is to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour and to ensure events are conducted with public safety as the primary objective.  Additionally there will be a considerable increase in Road Policing activities across the Southern Command targeting drink and drug driving along with speeding to ensure the safety of all community members and visitors to our region.

In many cases the intelligence is obtained from members of the public reporting suspicious activity within their community. We encourage people 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 and ensures our intelligence teams are able to direct patrols to identified crime and antisocial hotspots within the Southern Command’s area of responsibility.

We are continuing to call on the community to assist police in combating this rise in property crime and ensure their business premises, homes and vehicles are secured at all times. Valuables should not be left within sight or within business premises. Unfortunately we continue to see a significant number of reported break-ins occurring through open or unlocked doors and windows. Police are still promoting crime prevention strategies. More tips and information can be found on the Neighbourhood Watch NT webpage, as well as the NT Government Biz Secure program to help eligible Territory businesses improve their security against the risk of break-ins, with more information on this program being found at Biz Secure. Owners of licensed premises in the Northern Territory may be also be eligible to apply for funding to protect alcohol stock from theft and damage. Further information on this funding initiative can be found at Alcohol Secure.