The Northern Territory has experienced a dramatic drop in assaults over the four months that tough new alcohol policies have been in effect. Territory-wide there has been a 16% reduction in assaults in the four months to April 2014 compared to the same period last year. Assaults are down by 25% in Alice Springs, write Chief Minister ADAM GILES and Attorney-General JOHN ELFERINK.
Department of Justice figures released by NT Attorney-General John Elferink show that there was only a drop of 366 protective custodies (PCs) between 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, the period of roll-out for the Banned Drinker Register (BDR). Mr Elferink claims this is "further evidence that the previous Government’s approach to dealing with problem drinkers simply didn’t work".
Crime stats released: there is little difference in the number of alcohol-related assaults in Alice between 2010-11 and the BDR year, 2011-12, however alcohol-related assaults in Alice have increased by 47% since 2007.
The success of the government's mandatory rehabilitation of habitual drunks will be measured by things like fewer protective custodies, fewer presentations at accident and emergency departments – the usual benchmark indicators of social order, says the Territory's new Attorney-General John Elferink (pictured at left). And while the 800 or so "frequent flyers", as he calls them, are incarcerated in the "camps" intended for them, they will be off the streets – and that also will be a measure of success. KIERAN FINNANE speaks to the Attorney-Genereal.