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".
At tomorrow's meeting of stakeholders about alcohol issues in Alice Springs, we can expect that all the facts will be on the table. But the public will be in the dark about at least one of them: the number of protective custodies this year compared to last. That will become public knowledge later this month, when the NT Police Annual Report is tabled, but until then NT Police are declining to release the figures. The Alice Springs News Online has asked for them following a reader's post which suggested that they had halved this winter compared to last, evidence that the Banned Drinkers Register (rolled out from July last year and with 2491 people registered as at June 30, 2012) was taking effect. However, we have been fobbed off. KIERAN FINNANE reports.