Crime again where it was when CLP came to power


p2109-Lynne-WalkerLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The NT Police Crime Statistics ending October 2014 reveal that it has taken no less than 797 days for the CLP Government to get violent crime down to around the same levels they inherited them in 2012, a far cry from their promise to reduce crime by 10 percent each year.
Since taking office in 2012, we saw an explosion of crime when the CLP Government irresponsibly scrapped the Banned Drinker Register; cut the police budget; closed police beats and failed to deliver the promised 120 extra police.
Crime went out of control; and 2013 was the most violent year in Territory history.
For over two years the Territory suffered while the CLP Government lurched from crisis to crisis with no direction on how to tackle the crime scourge.
The CLP broke their promise of 120 extra police, and tried to claim the 94 police given to the former Labor Government by the former Federal Labor Government was part of that commitment, despite there now being 61 less police than there were at the same time last year.
Darwin and Palmerston are bearing the brunt with record levels of violent crime – with 2220 crimes against the person occurring in Darwin alone in the past 12 months.
The CLP have also abandoned the Alcohol Policy and Mandatory Alcohol Treatment portfolios to avoid accountability on the biggest social issue in the Territory, alcohol misuse.
Where crime still rages, with an increase in house break-ins of 37.7 percent in Darwin, and Alcohol related assaults up 7.3 percent in Palmerston, 10 police officers have been removed and sent to Katherine to man bottle shops – which is stretching police resources even further.
Lynne Walker
Shadow Minister for Police


  1. For the $48m that has been spent on Alcohol Mandatory Treatment facilities (figures almost twelve months old), I haven’t heard anything about the effectiveness of the treatment as a means of rehabilitation from the alcohol siege in the NT.
    Does the Minister intend to release discrete case studies and is there any follow-up to assess those who have been through AMT?
    I don’t dispute the need for rehabilitation, especially in helping some to become work-ready, although in certain situations that I’m aware of, they would have to leave their homes and relocate to a bigger centre to find work. The temptation during that unsettling period would have to be entertained by case workers as there may not be adequate family support.
    Meanwhile, as it pointed out by the Shadow Minister, police remain at TBLs and supply remains set at levels that have, over the past four decades, produced the need for AMT.
    What is the current Alcohol Policy and how long are TBLs to be used in conjunction with AMT? For the money spent, aren’t taxpayers entitled to some answers from a responsible government?

  2. If “Crime again where it was when CLP came to power” – why would anyone want to go back to Labor? Duh!
    I actually think Alice Springs is pretty good at the moment and so do the tourists I get to talk to on a regular basis.
    Not really interested in stats. Just want my house safe and to be able to walk around at night. All good so far.

  3. I take it that reading comprehension isn’t one of your stronger points, Safe house.
    You might have missed the latest death in town.
    The day or night that I can leave a car parked outside on the road and not have to awake to see
    A. windows trashed,
    B. stolen contents,
    C. empty space,
    D. fire damaged and so forth.
    You also might have missed dodge the bollards when going to shop. Rose tinted glasses come to mind.
    Thinking is a skill you might want to invest in.

  4. Good on you “Safe house” (Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:13 am).
    Not only are you too thick to comprehend the main point of Lynne Walker’s letter (that Adam Giles’ government has clearly reneged on its promise to reduce crime by 10% per year in the NT as a whole).
    You are also proud to proclaim yourself against a logical, educated scientific approach to understanding what is going on with crime and policing in the NT.
    It puzzles me then why you would think that anybody would be interested in reading your comment, which appears to be nothing more than a piece of CLP propaganda.
    Anybody with their head screwed on even partly can see that, although our over-worked police have valiantly brought down some local crime rates, our rates remain unacceptably high, and much greater than just about anywhere else in Australia.

  5. No way bro Rabbit – Alice is a lot better since the bad ol’ Labor days – your insults mean nothing to me.
    Anyone else notice that making positive comments about government policies immediately get attacked? Funny that … and not real smart either.
    Have a nice safe Christmas. I will.

  6. As one who loudly and publicly objected to the demise of the Banned Drinkers Register, I have had to change my tune. The Temporary Beat Locations work, or they work at least as far as public drinking goes.
    The rates of juvenile crime, of domestic crime in town camps and of property crime around town remain unacceptably high, but what can any government do? Before apportioning blame to either the CLP and/or the ALP, it might be worth considering just how violent the population of the NT is.
    There has to be an open cheque book on primary education and primary health, but after that people really do have to start answering for themselves.
    And, please, a bit less about unhappy childhoods. Cry babies and apologists have not solved the NT’s crime problem to date, and they are unlikely to do so in the future.

  7. Seems both political sides of this debate are a little loose with the truth.
    The increase in violent crime statistics appears to be occurring in Darwin and Palmerston, and much of this is connected with the notorious entertainment strip of Mitchell Street in Darwin’s CBD. It’s not dissimilar to such problems encountered in other major Australian cities.
    Currently Alice Springs and Tennant Creek are experiencing significant respites from (predominantly) alcohol-related crime and anti-social activity, in no small measure due to the police presence at alcohol outlets. Katherine is likely to follow suit in lowered crime statistics recorded for next year, following the introduction of this method in that town.
    I’m also one of those that supported the Banned Drinkers Register brought in by the previous Labor administration, and I think its reinstatement in Darwin especially would be most helpful in curbing the excesses of alcohol-related crime currently being experienced in that city.
    Another very effective contribution to the management of crime and anti-social behaviour in Alice Springs comes from the installation of CCTV cameras throughout the town centre. This measure was first suggested in the late 1980s-early 1990s when the Alice experienced a tremendous peak in crime (in 1990 our town was described as the “murder capital of Australia”). The CLP made CCTV cameras for Alice Springs a promise in the NT election campaign of 1994 but never delivered – ultimately it was Labor that brought in this highly effective measure to combat crime in 2008.
    Our experience with CCTV hints at a key requirement for tackling this problem, namely that a much more cooperative approach from all sides of politics will lead to a far more effective resolution of our crime problems rather than the political point-scoring that has characterised this issue for the past four decades. Perhaps then we won’t need to employ more police and build bigger court houses and jails (gosh, we’ll have to find other means of growing our economy!)

  8. Largely agree with you Hal (Hal Duell, Posted December 23, 2014 at 9:22 am); but I think there are a few steps which should still be taken that would greatly improve the situation in Alice.
    1. Reinstate the BDR, and require it to be used by licensees to check the status of those entering bars, as well as those purchasing take-away alcohol.
    2. Retain the TBLs as an adjunct when needed (e.g. on weekends when there are large numbers of visitors in town).
    3. Establish a floor price on wine, for all NT take-away alcohol outlets, to ensure that a standard drink of wine is no cheaper than a standard drink of average price popular brands of beer.
    4. Ensure that at least one day each week is free from the sale of take-away alcohol.
    5. Reinstate the Youth Street Outreach Service to operate each night between dusk and dawn.
    6. Bolster other youth services, including intensive therapeutic services to meet the needs of young people who have been badly neglected and/or traumatised.

  9. @Bob Durnan
    Posted December 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm
    Six good proposals.
    Wasn’t there some talk of the BDR being reinstated in Alice and Tennant Creek? A check at the door would put paid to the remaining, and one newly emerging, “animal bars” in town. Just look at the transformation of the Gap Hotel to see the benefits of closing those places down.
    If a price equalisation between beer and wine were brought in, them perhaps I could go back to collecting 10-cents-a-pop beer cans instead of those valueless plastic wine bottles when walking the dog.

  10. Very soon judging by what’s happening throughout the rest of the county, alcohol will be seen as a cute aberration.
    It’s time the law-makers set their sites on the meth-amphetamine labs and distributors. It will lower alcohol usage but also destroy those who want to imbibe.
    It will make gin and a joint, a beer or many, look very quaint. Have a look on the east coast and elsewhere. Watch “Breaking Bad” on video.
    Our law makers and police will have to start checking incoming “traffic” from all parts of the country and please let them use very big, nasty drug dogs!
    They will have to do spot checks on domestic premises,caravan parks, incoming traffic and tourists, etc.
    It is so destructive and addictive and cheap. We are going to be keeping our children at home! We must start being proactive now, or watch our children die.


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