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Parents make kids clean up their vandalism


SEE ALSO in our News in Brief.

A group of children have been made to clean up their destruction following the unlawful breaking into the only childcare centre in Tennant Creek.

Sometime during the evening of 26 January, six children aged 9 to 13 are alleged to have unlawfully entered and ransacked the premises, causing extensive damage and mess, according to a police report.

“In cooperation with the parents and responsible guardians and police, the children returned to the centre and cleaned up their mess,” says Barkly Superintendent Kylie Anderson.

“Community leadership and cooperation between residents, the families involved and police led to the children learning to take immediate responsibility for their actions. They spent three hours cleaning and tidying up.

“Unfortunately a significant amount of damage to a local and essential agency in this community was caused as a result of the behaviour of a few,” says Superintendent Anderson.

Meanwhile five people are currently assisting police with inquiries in relation to an unlawful entry of a licensed premises in Alice Springs earlier this week.

CCTV captured six people unlawfully entering a building on Traeger Avenue just after 2am on Thursday.

Once inside the premises the group has failed to access alcohol and fled the scene shortly after.

Investigations conducted by Strike Force Viper identified an 18-year-old man, and three boys aged 17, 17 and 14 who are assisting police with their inquiries in relation to this incident.

In the seven day period between January 29 to February 5, Strike Force Viper has made four arrests and has summonsed five people to appear before court for criminal offences in Alice Springs.

The alleged offences are a trespass incident in a Gillen home and the property damage and stealing incident at a laundromat; an unlawful entry of a property on Traeger Park where car keys and alcohol were stolen; multiple traffic offences; unlawful entry, stealing and criminal damage of an art gallery in the Todd Mall; and unlawful entry and property damage in Hartley Street on January 6.

Strike Force Viper continue to investigating all reported unlawful entries.

PHOTO at top courtesy Tennant Times: Kids were made cleaning up this building that they had vandalised. Video: Light truck rolling in Brown Street after it was allegedly stolen with two other vehicles earlier this week.


  1. Can someone post a picture or video of the “children” cleaning the trashed child care centre.
    I’m sure if the “children” were doing something constructive for the centre the media would be all over it with vision, photos and interviews. Lets not forget, Child Care Centres Matter.

  2. Great work.
    Change will only happen when there are consequences for bad behaviour.
    If this approach becomes consistent, the results will be far better than bail, bail, bail, gaol.

  3. The kids broke in and were captured on CCTV and quickly identified by the police.
    The police bluntly told the parents that charges could be downgraded if they and their children cooperated.
    What we see is the positive result of that “gun to heads” process.
    Unfortunately, our local Alice Springs criminals are more savvy than their Tennant Creek peers. They are CCTV aware and use counter measures such as hoodies.
    Our locals are also far more numerous and somewhat older.
    Often parents cannot be located or will not cooperate if their kids are identified.
    The pop gun to the head doesn’t work.
    There is a pattern of denial or blaming someone else, despite compelling evidence.
    This is a good news story but don’t think it will apply in Alice Springs anytime soon.

  4. Restorative practices can have a real and lasting impact on offenders. Should be employed in every situation so that offenders can meet the survivors of their most often impulsive and contemptible acts of vandalism or violence.
    Taking responsibility for and owning their behaviour is imperative in the restoration process. Offenders along with responsible family members can all be involved. Restitution by way of community service in cleaning up the mess they caused and spending other time on community projects can be of benefit.
    Remember, many of these young offenders have cognitive delays as a result of FASD or other neglect factors. Just because they are of a certain age doesn’t mean they are at a similar stage in their development.
    Time spent also in building and developing Respectful Relationships can help evolve more responsible behaviours.
    The juvenile justice system needs to incorporate these measures into its rehabilitation model.
    They were promised over five years ago. How many restorative conferences have been conducted over that time?
    Systemic failures to address these issues are contributors to the dysfunction we’re continuing to experience.

  5. @ Phil Walcott: But do survivors want to be part of therapy for their attackers?
    Restorative justice asks a lot of victims.
    Just to be sure, I asked a friend who has been the victim of an assault.
    He walked past a group of youths and made the mistake of responding with a hand signal when they abused him.
    They punched him into semi consciousness and then propped his leg over the gutter of the road.
    Then they repeatedly jumped on it.
    The compound fracture injuries were severe, requiring interstate orthopaedic surgery.
    “Would you meet your attackers?” I asked.
    “Only when armed with a shotgun,” was his response.

  6. @ Jason: The behaviour exhibited by the thugs seems typical for Alice Springs. I’m in favour on meeting the attackers with the eye for an eye strategy plus a little extra for good measure.
    In all honesty I can’t see why the law doesn’t use that methodology as a deterrent. I am 90% sure it would reduce this kind of behaviour.
    At the moment the taxpayer is paying for the education bills, damage bills, medical bills, justice system bills and support of the non working people and yet we are still not protected by the law.
    That’s more than double dipping.


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