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Crime up but police scores points


There have been further increases in crimes against the person, Commander Craig Laidler told media this morning, but the rise is less steep than the results announced last month.

During the year ending February 28, 2021, compared to the preceding corresponding period, assault have increased by 12%, domestic violence related assault by 24% and alcohol related assault by 8%.

The increase were slightly lower than for the year ending January 31.

House break-ins were up 19%.

On the upside, vehicle thefts were down 27%.

Commander Laidler says following rapid response of police, some alleged offenders were in custody after 30 minutes.

That was the case with offences against person as well as property, including some “recidivist offenders with significant history”.

He said “we’re having some success at the moment” with anti-social behaviour across the CBD but it is “still a challenging environment”.

Extra assets deployed include mounted police, dog handlers, motorbikes, marked vehicles and unmarked vehicles, and a mobile police station in the Mall (pictured).

Commander Laidler says stats in 2018 were “significantly higher than what we’re looking at now”.

In 2019 and 2020 assaults were fairly similar, with a slight rise in 2021 significantly from 2020, down from 2019, up from 2018, and about on par with 2017.

NEWS: Has the traditional owners patrol started yet and if so, what are the results?

LAIDLER: I won’t comment on their success being that it’s not my program, it is the Alice Springs Town Council’s. It’s only just started, a couple of weeks when they’ve just introduced themselves. Again, it’s one of those initiatives in which other stakeholders are getting involved, it’s not just everyone looking to the police to have the answers. I see it as a positive. As police we’ll make sure that we engage as much as we can, so we can work together.

NEWS: In what way are you working together?

LAIDLER: We have our community youth engagement officers. At the moment we have Operation Livingston [to address and disrupt antisocial behaviour and criminal damage], we’re [co-operating] with Territory Families staff, Talice Security, Tangentyere Council – and we’re all working together over night.


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