Detectives from the Southern Investigation Division have released the name of a person who may be able to assist with inquiries into the suspicious death of a woman on March 6.
And police have also released descriptions of two men they are searching for in relation to an attack on a 15-year-old girl on the same day.
Booze remains by far the most damaging drug in the Central Australian outback: the top police officer in the bush says alcohol is doing 95% of the damage, with ganja (marijuana) the most popular illicit drug, and amphetamines playing a very minor role.
Police Superintendent Peter Gordon's beat is called Central Desert, with Alice Springs in the middle, around 600,000 square kilometers, twice the size of Germany.
He has 52 officers in 17 remote police stations. The trauma caused by alcohol is always on top of their agenda ... and the scams for getting grog to areas where it is banned display a destructive cunning. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Backpacker's luggage being searched by police using a sniffer dog in the Adelaide bus terminal, a suspected place from where drugs are imported to the Northern Territory.
A travelling police roadshow is no substitute for a full-time policing commitment in Alice Springs, says Shadow Minister for Central Australia, Matt Conlan (pictured).
Operation Shiloh, which will see up to 25 officers transiting through Central Australia over the next few weeks, is a stop gap measure which will bring little long term benefit to the town. [Media release.]
Police in Alice Springs arrested 39 people in the 24 hours until 7am today.
The larger than usual number of arrests was due to additional policing support provided by Operation Shiloh members.
Superintendent Matt Hollamby said 16 arrests were as a result of drink driving. Six of those were high range
"Five were arrested for aggravated assault, one for causing serious harm and six for breach of bail.
“Three people were arrested for breaching their Domestic Violence Orders and the remainder for drug and warrant related incidents.
“The scary part about this is it does not include the number of people apprehended for protective custody or issued with a Notice to Appear or Summary Infringement Notice.
"These are just the people who were charged with offences."
Police tested 188 drivers at six Random Breath Testing Stations throughout the town and surrounding areas.
“Four returned a low reading, seven a medium reading and five a high reading, the highest of those was 0.217%," says Supt Hollamby.
“Eight Summary Infringement Notices and Traffic Infringement Notices were also given and 156 litres of alcohol was destroyed.
“I continue to urge anyone who may witness suspicious behaviour, anti-social and criminal behaviour including drink drivers, to report it to Police on 131 444."
[Police media release.]
Ald Eli Melky (pictured at left) will move his controversial motion for a youth curfew at Monday's town council meeting.
He says it's no big deal, not a bid to change the world, just a logical
move to round off the plethora of existing youth services.
He believes there are 57 of them, counting government ones and NGOs, mostly working 9 to 5.
Now watch it all unravel.
Ald Melky says while it appears there are hundreds of young people about
at night, it's just "30 to 40 kids who are holding the population to
In a conversation with the Alice Springs News Online he suggests making
it unlawful for them to be on the streets after 10pm will actually keep
Our discussion soon turns to the question: Why should this new law make
any difference to those 30 to 40 kids, given that breaking the law –
pretty well with impunity – is a way of life for them? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO at top: Aldermen John Rawnsley and Samih Habib Bitar at a "get to know you" evening with street kids in early 2009.
The summer of crime is hitting businesses and residents already, and it’s only the first week of October, says Member for Braitling Adam Giles (pictured).
But police say Operation Thresher, a special initiative now in its second week and targeting anti-social behaviour and property crime over the school holidays, involves 32 police officers "dedicated to high profile and covert patrols of known hot spots in the town".
Says Mr Giles: “Last night there were three break-ins of Alice Springs businesses, and during the day two homes were also ransacked.
“Knowing one family who were the victims of a break in this week, I share their frustration and outrage about a decline in public order and personal responsibility that has swept Alice Springs due to the ineffective policies of the Henderson Labor Government.
“Relying on the police to mop up after the crimes have happened is not an acceptable response.
“Cleaning up and patching up seem to be the norm, yet what is needed is attacking the problems at the source and that starts with dealing strongly with the kids that are creating this chaos.
“Do parents not know where their kids are late at night – or do they just not care?"
Police say Operation Thresher "involves members from the Property Crime Reduction Unit, General Duties, Intelligence Unit, Dog Operations Unit,
Mounted Unit and forensics crews.
“We are also liaising with other Government and non-Government agencies that engage with youth to ensure young people are monitored and provided with support services if required."
Map above: fires today. Note color code bottom right of country already burned this year.
Police should treat firebugs as major criminals, says Matt Braitling,
of Mt Doreen Station, the chairman of Bushfire NT, southern region.
He says except for the blaze at Numery Station, set off by lightning,
all the massive number of bushfires in Central Australia in the past
weeks were deliberately lit.
Meanwhile South Australia is sending fire fighters, and MLA for
Braitling Adam Giles lashes out at the lack of preparedness for the what
was long known would be a catastrophic fire season.
"It's usually easy to pinpoint where fires start," says Mr Braitling.
"Police need to set up crime scenes at these locations."
They should deploy forensic teams, check for things like tyre marks
and discarded rubbish, fingerprint items, use trackers and seek the
assistance of people who have local knowledge.
"It's attempted murder," says Mr Braitling. "People will die." ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Posted Oct 4, 2011: Interesting story on
the ABC about concerns in South Australia about buffel grass invading
from the NT. The introduced grass species is a major contributor to the
seriousness of the current bushfires. Today rain is providing relief.
Search the Alice Springs News Online archive for articles about buffel grass.
aggresively worded sign about dog control, posted by a Central Desert
Shire officer at the store in the western desert settlement of Nyirripi,
has been removed. The sign included a threat that dogs hidden
from the visiting vet would be shot.
Nyirripi has a population of some 320 and is roughly 440 km north-west of Alice Springs, or 150 kms west-southwest of Yuendumu.
CEO of Central Desert Shire, Roydon Roberston, said he became aware
of the notice yesterday (Sunday) and "ordered that it be removed".
He said the notice was placed by the shire officer "in conjunction with senior community members".
"No authority was given or would have been given by Executive
Management as the sign is not in keeping with Council Policy. Further
discussions will be held with the staff member involved," said Mr
A vet is in the community today – as advised by the sign – and is
expected to attend to 15 dogs today and a total of 30 before leaving
The shire's Dog Management Policy, adopted in October 2008, stipulates a maximum of two dogs per household.
Mr Robertson says compliance with the policy has been "mixed" across
the shire, while reported dog problems have "escalated" at Nyirrpi,
becoming "worse than other communities".
He says the shire council has received numerous complaints from
government agencies and council staff concerning dogs, including packs
of roaming dogs.
He says the Local Board at Nyirrpi, has been very keen for the vet to
again visit. (Local Boards are appointed to advise council on local
issues and aspirations.)
"I've got 55 positions across MacDonnell Shire – I can't fill all of them because I have to compete with Centrelink."
It was one of the starker statements of the two and half hour public
meeting held in Alice on Tuesday evening, about the second phase of the
The speaker was Tracey McNee, coordinator of Community Safety at the
shire, making a point about the disincentive to work created by ease of
access to the dole. She "took her hat off" to shire residents who had
taken the work, but commented on the remaining vacancies: "[People]
don't necessarily have the same pressure and pushes to apply for those
The jobs are with night patrol services: "No-one is saying night patrol is an easy job, but it is a job," said Ms McNee.
Centrelink is potentially "a large part of the solution," responded
veteran community development worker Bob Durnan, suggesting that the
organisation has the motivation and capacity as well as permanent staff
in communities to help people into jobs (presumably with some
forcefulness, if necessary). He said while government has poured a huge
amount of money into job networks, they are not based in communities and
don't have local knowledge. Centrelink is in a good position to take
over job network functions, he said. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Photo: Youth worker George Peckham on the microphone at Tuesday night's public meeting.