Big police audit as simple crime remains unsolved


p2327-Meagan-Merritt-2By ERWIN CHLANDA
A top cop, seconded from New Zealand to oversee a “capability audit” of the Territory Police, will have an interesting time if the investigation of a bag snatch in the CBD six weeks ago is any indication.
The crime is still not resolved although the offenders are known.
The two young men who snatched the bag were described in detail by the victim, Meagan Merritt, pictured in a re-enactment.
The thieves were observed by three Aboriginal people who gave the offenders’ names to a police officer. He told the victim: “Yes, we have those boys on our list.”
The officer was also told that the thieves were from Hermannsburg, but were likely to be staying in town that night, and that address was also given to the police.
The community west of Alice Springs has a population of 625 and has a police station.
The Alice Springs News Online has made repeated inquiries about the progress of the police investigation and has been told – variously – that the police are very busy, the boys have not yet been found, they may have gone bush and that the PROMIS computer system, which tracks the progress of investigations, is down.
We called again at 10:33am today, left a recorded message as no-one answered, but have had no response by the time of publication.
Acting Deputy Commissioner (District Operations) of the New Zealand Police Service, Mr Grant Nicholls, as its new Assistant Commissioner, was seconded to oversee a wide ranging NTPFES Capability Audit, a media release said this morning.
Mr Nicholls’ overseas experience includes deployment to Thailand as a Contingent Commander after the Asian tsunami, secondment to Strathclyde Police in Glasgow, as well as time spent in Timor-Leste, the US and Canada, and command training at the Police Staff College, Bramshill, near London.
Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the operating context of the NTPFES is constantly evolving, presenting new challenges.
“As an Agency dedicated to serving and protecting Territorians, we must become more flexible and dynamic in how we deploy our resources,” he said.
“The evolving environment around us, including population, social, economic, security, and technological changes, combined with finite resources, continues to present ongoing challenges to the delivery of services.
“In line with our Vision 2020 strategy, the audit will ensure we have the best possible service delivery model to support frontline operations,” says the release.


  1. @ Mr Kershaw: The best possible service delivery model to support frontline operations?
    Seriously, you had to shop overseas to find a person to help you with this?
    Here’s a tip for free. Try getting somebody at at least one of your stations (or command centres, or whatever the politically correct title is this week) to answer the phone when it rings.
    You would be amazed at the results.


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