More police work, not offending, drives up crime rates


A bit of a hoo-hah this week over a so called blow out in law and order issues needs to be seen for what it is, a hypocritical bleat from the Opposition. It should be too embarrassed to comment, given that during their last term they presided over a devastating blow-out in law and order break-down to which either through ignorance or neglect they failed to respond with anything more than a few token gestures.
This in turn had severe consequences for both our citizens and our economy especially in the area of tourism as horror stories about crime spread around the world.
While I fully acknowledge that good government is helped by strong opposition I think that on this subject at least the Opposition should keep their heads lowered for another half century or so until they regain some form of credibility on the subject, credibility that only the passage of time and generational change could possibly bring.
The reported “blow out” is as a direct result of a vastly increased policing effort, one that began in the last few weeks of Labor’s reign as they desperately tried to hang onto government and was subsequently continued at an even greater level by the incoming CLP Government who to their credit have maintained the effort ever since.
Now of course as a natural consequence of going from a token level of policing to a determined and committed level of policing there should be, and has been, a large increase in matters before the courts and the number of incidents dealt with, people in jail, and so on.
If there wasn’t, we would have every right to be very concerned and asking questions as it would clearly show we were paying the costs of a lot of extra policing to achieve nothing!
As a result we should all be very pleased to see the increase in correctional activity and matters before the courts, as these increases, when measured alongside a huge drop in the level of mayhem on our streets, mayhem that had become the norm over the last decade, clearly show that we are winning the battle!
We are claiming back our community and our streets! Furthermore now that we have policing and consequences reinstated, the deterrent effect should also begin to kick in.
After seeing an initial spike both in incidents and numbers going to jail,  we should begin to see a gradual decline in criminal activity and jail populations as the community’s message about expected behaviour is sheeted home.
The Alice Springs Town Council can already demonstrate this declining rate of incidents in some areas of its ranger program as a direct result of their successful operations.
Of course, you will also get the same decline if you back off the policing. One way of monitoring the change is monitoring social media and keeping a close ear to the ground for community feedback.
What I am hearing and personally observing is that while there remains a law and order issue in our community, we are now in a vastly better place than we were two years ago!
While Government is to be congratulated for its efforts so far, pressure to maintain the commitment must be the continuing message from the community. The proverbial foot may be on the head of the snake but the snake is very much alive!


  1. Thanks Steve for this clarity. Too often statistics are used (or mis-used) to propagate a hidden agenda.
    If you measure crime rate by the number of cases before the courts, then of course the crime rate will statistically rise if you catch more offenders.
    The opposition would gain more credibility by applauding the rise in court activity as a positive step in reducing crime, instead of revealing their own inadequacy will a somewhat transparent misuse of statistics. Their credibility is not served by making comments that everyone can see are stupid. Or is this an indication that they think that the people are not smart enough to see through their cheap political stunts.
    Having just returned to Alice Springs, I can certainly notice a sharp drop in visible anti-social behaviour from the situation two or three years ago.
    The current CLP government should be congratulated for its commitment to reversing the damage done to the town’s reputation during the Labor government era.


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