Southern Commander's Message

Commander Bradley Currie has responsibility for the Southern Command, which includes the Southern Desert, Alice Springs, 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 has continued. Whilst it is evident that property offences in Alice Springs are trending down throughout 2019, the 12 monthly year on year results remain high for Alice Springs and Tennant Creek for certain crimes.

There has been a 27% decrease or 603 less incidents of offences against the person in Alice Springs. This includes a 28% decrease in total assaults and 37% decrease in reported sexual assault offences. In Tennant Creek, there has been a 15% reduction in offences against the person; this includes a 16% decrease in assaults from year on year statistics to the end of July 2019. It is evident that policing efforts inclusive of point of sale intervention and actions of the Alcohol Policing Unit have successfully reduced the incidents of offences against the person with ongoing strategies targeting repeat offenders. This has decreased the accessibility of alcohol to problem drinkers and continued the enforcement of the Liquor Act 1978.

Officers from across the command continue to maintain a proactive approach to alcohol related crime, along with a focus on road safety enforcement inclusive of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Officers from across the command are also targeting responsible drinking in and around licensed premises to reduce the incidences of violence, antisocial behaviour and the harm caused by excessive and irresponsible alcohol consumption.

Total property offences in Alice Springs are 12% higher over the 12 month reporting period. This is an 8% decrease in comparison to last month (20%) and indications are that this number will continue to reduce in the next reporting period. The increase in Alice Springs has been driven by a 62% increase in residential break-ins. This rate is 6% lower than the last reporting period with the rate expected to reduce again in the August reporting period. In Tennant Creek there has been a 21% increase in property crime in comparison to the same time last year. Whilst this number remains high there has been some success with a continual downward trend in incidents of vehicles being stolen and theft. 

To maintain the momentum we are continuing to call on the community to assist police in combating property crime by ensuring their business premises, homes and vehicles are secured at all times. Valuables should not be left within sight or within business premises. To assist in preventing crime, information can be found on the Neighbourhood Watch NT webpage, as well as the NTG Biz Secure program to help eligible NT businesses improve their security against the risk of break-ins, with more information on this program being found at Biz Secure.

The Southern Command continues to work closely with other government and non‑Government agencies via integrated response models to case manage high risk youth and target offenders and hotspots as part of ongoing preventative measures to reduce property crime rates. A revised youth framework known as the Impartyemwerre: Alice Springs Interagency Family and Youth Operational Framework was introduced in July and provides overarching principles, articulates referral pathways and thresholds for the operational forums relating to ‘at risk’ youth and brings together some of the key initiatives of the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ plan resulting in improved governance and accountability. The framework brings together multiple levels of youth case management operations and ensures Government agencies including the NT Police Force, Territory Families, the Departments of Education; Local Government, Housing and Community Development and the Department of the Chief Minister are working closely with non-Government partner agencies to manage youth crime and antisocial behaviour.

With the approaching October school holiday period, officers from the Community Youth Engagement Team will be conducting proactive patrols and engaging with youth to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour across the Command. You will also see an increase in preventative patrols including mounted police, motorbike, push bike and drone patrols in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and remote areas. Additionally a new Strike Force (Turnbull) has been introduced in Tennant Creek to provide a proactive and preventative approach to property crime in the town.

Southern Command police relies on information and support from the local community. You are encouraged to continue to report antisocial behaviour, all crimes and suspicious behaviour to Triple Zero (000) if the matter is urgent, to the Police Assistance Line (131 444) or via Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000). Reports received allows police to address 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.