The CLP are continuing to fail miserably when it comes to law and order for the residents of Darwin and Palmerston with crime on the increase, said Shadow Minister for Police Lynne Walker.
The latest crime statistics show assaults in Darwin are now up 12.5% with motor vehicle theft up 35.1% in Darwin and up 52.5% in Palmerston.
The news just gets worse with house break-ins in Darwin up 64.8% and 56.95% in Palmerston where commercial break-ins are up a staggering 102.5%.
“These figures are higher than the Christmas crime wave and Darwin and Palmerston residents are rightly asking what the CLP is doing to stop this out of control crime.
“We know TBLs have had some impact in lowering crime statistics but they are not sustainable and what is also clear is that drinkers are heading up the Stuart highway to avoid the TBLs in Katherine and Tennant Creek.
“The CLP cannot ignore the recommendations of the bipartisan report of the Senate Inquiry into domestic and family violence which recommends the reinstatement of the Banned Drinkers’ Register,” Ms Walker said.
A Territory Parliamentary Committee into the prevention of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder recommended further analysis be undertaken on Temporary Beat Locations and the Banned Drinker Register and to implement personal point of sale restrictions.
“Police, including highly trained members of the Tactical Response Group, need to be able to get back to the police work they were trained to do to keep communities safe and catch criminals, not being bouncers outside licensed premises at TBLs.”
The CLP Government should implement the findings of a Senate Inquiry and immediately reintroduce the Banned Drinkers Register to protect women and children from domestic and family violence, Shadow Women’s Policy Minister Lynne Walker said today.
Ms Walker said the Senate Inquiry sitting in Darwin last week heard compelling evidence from witnesses that the BDR worked to reduce alcohol-related violence against women.
“The Inquiry’s interim report has recommended the BDR be reinstated after hearing horrific stories from frontline services dealing with the Territory’s appalling rates of violence.
“We know the BDR was effective at tackling alcohol-related domestic and family violence.
“The fact is that Temporary Beat Locations provide a false sense of security when it comes to reducing domestic and family violence,” Ms Walker said.
“TBLs aren’t a permanent solution and there is growing anecdotal evidence of black market sales in towns like Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests hardcore drinkers are also being pushed up the track into Darwin and Palmerston.
“We need to be looking at a suite of complementary measures to make women and children safer and I call on CLP Minister Bess Price to take up the Senate Inquiry recommendations.
“If Minister Price is serious about making Territory women and children safer, and not just talking about it, she should be lobbying the Federal Government hard to restore funding to housing and homeless services, legal aid and increasing the capacity of services.
“And she should be going straight to the Chief Minister and telling him to reinstate the BDR.
“The women and children of the Northern Territory deserve to live in safety and the Senate Inquiry recommendations give Minister Price a clear path to make it happen.”
Assaults in Darwin are up 8.4% while Motor Vehicle Theft was up 22.8% in Darwin and a staggering 44.9% in Palmerston.
“The CLP’s law and order policy seems to be finding two dates that show the best reduction in figures, rather than having any real ideas to prevent crime in the first place.”
“Temporary Beat Locations (TBL’s) have been a success in lowering crime statistics – but they are unsustainable – the cost - both in dollars and resources from Police - makes them just that – temporary.
“The CLP need to tell us what their long term solution to alcohol related crime is and it can’t just be turning a T into a P and calling them Permanent Beat Locations.
Territorians know that there is a crime and alcohol problem in the Territory and they want answers – not police checking licenses at bottle shops.
If they want to stop banned drinkers bring back the BDR and free up police to get back to doing police work – not being bouncers.
Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy today said there are signs the CLP Government is about to bring back the Banned Drinker Register and the Government needs to come clean.
“Public drinking and alcohol-related anti-social behaviour is out of control in Darwin, in our parks and public spaces.
“In recent days, a local bottle-shop has been told by the NT Police and the Department of Business that the Government will be “bringing back the BDR in the near future”.
“After two years of CLP failure on alcohol policy, after being told by the experts the BDR was the best tool to fight alcohol misuse, the CLP are finally coming to their senses.
After the CLP scrapped the BDR, crime reached record levels with 2013 being the most violent year in Territory history.
The BDR was a cost-effective tool to identify banned drinkers and refuse alcohol sales, turning off the tap.
In the absence of the BDR, the CLP has expected bottleshop staff to identify people on alcohol protection orders from mug shots, an unworkable and 1970’s solution.
“The BDR applied consistency across the Territory to ensure bans on drinking and take- away alcohol could be effective anywhere in the Territory.
“Without it we’ve seen people relocate to follow the grog and problem drinkers more readily access alcohol.
“There has been a spike in hot spots of public drinking and anti-social behaviour around Darwin and Palmerston without the BDR to turn off the tap to problem drinkers.
“The CLP’s failed alcohol policy also wasted police resources by standing police outside bottleshops in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, and Katherine, instead of working the beat, and has encouraged problem drinkers to move to Darwin.
“This is despite police publicly stating the BDR was the best tool to fight alcohol related crime,’ Ms Fyles said.
Background on the Banned Drinkers Register:
The Banned Drinker’s register was rolled out progressively across the Territory from 1 July 2011. After 12 months of operation there were 2,500 Territorians on the Banned Drinkers Register and Police statistics showed drops in alcohol-related assaults and 10,000 less anti- social incidents were recorded, supporting anecdotal evidence our streets and parks were quieter.
Under the BDR a person buying take-away alcohol had their photo identification (ID) scanned and if the system identified the person was on the Banned Drinker’s Register, the retailer was obliged under law to refuse the sale. Persons not on the register purchased alcohol as normal. The BDR applied to take-away alcohol sales, which made up 70% of all alcohol consumption in the Territory.
The BDR was publicly supported by the health and alcohol sector, including the AHA, Responsible Drinkers Lobby, NT Council of Social Services, Aboriginal Medical Services, Amity, FORWAARD, People’s Alcohol Action Coalition, and NT Police.
Prior to the BDR, alcohol-related crime accounted for 59 per cent of all police work in 2008- 09.
Police public statements about the Banned Drinker Register in October 2011:
“Police did see it as one of the most powerful tools if not the most powerful tool available to police to actually deal with the source problem of antisocial behaviour and the violence that was occurring in the community. I think these early indicators prove that the initiative is working."
“From a policing point of view we see some tremendous results from this initiative.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mark Payne
National Alcohol Policy Scorecard released today again rates the
Territory as the equal second- worst performing government in the
nation, behind the Federal Government, on
addressing alcohol harm.
Minister for Alcohol Policy, Natasha Fyles, said the report card
highlights that the performance of the CLP has declined in the past
year, dropping 11 points.
CLP dropped the Alcohol Policy portfolio in their December re-shuffle
to avoid scrutiny on the biggest social issue facing the Territory.
every category - reduction of harm, treatment and early intervention,
drink driving prevention and transparency in the development of alcohol
policy - the report states the
Territory needs to improve.
“The CLP have ignored calls for an independent review into their alcohol mandatory treatment model.
our medical experts, we want to ensure this program is properly
resourced and delivering health outcomes. The Government is spending $28
million with no real measures for
whether their alcohol mandatory treatment program is achieving long
term benefits and whether it is cost effective.
won’t release data on alcohol treatment outcomes. Is this because it is
not working to reduce alcohol misuse or bring down alcohol related
harm?” Ms Fyles said.
The National Alcohol Policy Scorecard commenced in 2013. It is produced by the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol.
View their media release at: