Shadow Minister for Police, Lynne Walker, today said the NT crime statistics released today show there have been alarming increases in property crime in the Territory.
The NT crime statistics show a massive increase in break-ins across the Territory. There has been a 23.7 percent increase in domestic break-ins Territory wide; with an increase of 67.9 percent in Darwin,73.2 percent in Palmerston. Along with a rise in commercial break-ins of 103.7 percent in Palmerston, and 20.7 percent in Alice Springs.
Vehicle thefts have also increased by 27.9 percent; with a 38.4 percent increase in Darwin, a 55.8 percent increase in Palmerston.
Ms Walker said recent events have also highlighted the worrying levels of property crime and youth antisocial behaviour.
“Sadly many Territorians know from their own experiences that more needs to be done to tackle property crime in the Territory,” Ms Walker said.
“The Easter break saw increases in criminal activity, especially in Alice Springs, which has led to the formation of a taskforce to identify the root causes of this activity.
“The CLP Governments cuts to youth services, cuts to school holiday programs, are clear areas that need to be addressed by this taskforce to prevent future criminal activity.”
“While alcohol related crime has reduced statistically on the whole for the Territory, it is still a major issue for Darwin - which saw a 5.8 percent increase - and Palmerston, where access to alcohol by problem drinkers remains unfettered,” Ms Walker said.
“Territorians can see with their own eyes the scourge of alcohol fuelled violence and domestic violence in the Territory.
“The CLP Government’s limited alcohol management policy, of posting Territory Police at the front of bottle shops, while making small statistical gains, it cannot be ignored that it is draining on police resources, and is not sustainable.
“The Member for Katherine, Willem Westra van Holthe, revealed the Katherine Alcohol Rehabilitation facility will not be going ahead further narrowing the CLP’s armory to tackle problem drinking to unsustainable Temporary Beat Locations.
“The CLP Government needs to find a solution that is broad and holistic and acknowledge the constant recommendations by experts and calls to reinstate the Banned Drinkers Register – such as that by outgoing Police Association President, Vince Kelly.
“Territorians want the CLP Government to move away from their kneejerk reactions to tackling crime and adopt well thought, multifaceted long term strategies.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Minister for Transport, Ken Vowles, today called on the CLP Government to fast-track the implementation of all of the outstanding safety recommendations from the Review of Safety and Security on the Darwinbus Network Interchanges that were announced last September.
“The CLP have dragged their heels on the issue of public transport safety,” Mr Vowles said.
“It has been a year since a serious incident on a female driver triggered a safety audit and since bus drivers are facing increased attacks.
“The CLP Government has not prioritised implementing the recommending safety improvements.”
Mr Vowles said many of the serious offences against drivers and passengers can be linked to alcohol, with public drunkenness and alcohol related violence being out of control in Darwin and Palmerston.
“The latest crime statistics show that under the CLP assaults in Darwin are at their highest number in the history of data collection,” Mr Vowles said.
“1896 assaults occurred last year, an increase of 20 per cent since the CLP Government came to power. This staggering amount of violence is affecting every aspect of our community, including public Transport.
“Seventy per cent of incidents on our bus system occur away from public interchanges and drivers rightly want more safety officers and more preventative actions to stop drunks and problem passengers getting on buses.
“One of the safety audit recommendations was to establish a working group of Police, Larrakia Nation Patrols and stakeholders to address anti-social behaviour – this needs to be urgently implemented and consideration given to extra patrols to stop drunks getting on buses.
“The CLP Government needs to release an implementation report outlining what measures have been put in place to date and what is still outstanding.
“Territory Bus drivers and passengers deserve a stronger focus on their safety not just knee jerk reactions after incidents.
“The CLP Government needs to stop ignoring the evidence on the streets and in the crime stats that public drunkenness is out of control and unfortunately our public transport system is bearing the brunt.”
While Police Minister, Peter Chandler, appears to hold the office of the Police Commissioner to the highest standards, it is the CLP Government’s own law and order policies that are failing Territorians Labor MLA, Lauren Moss, said today.
“The crime statistics released today show that the recent crime wave, identified by NT Police as young trouble makers on school holidays and on Ice or other drugs, has not abated with property crime in Darwin and Palmerston skyrocketing,” Ms Moss said.
“House break-ins are up in Darwin and Palmerston 48 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
“Motor vehicle thefts are up 12 percent and 40 per cent respectively.
“And commercial break-ins are up a staggering 66 per cent in Palmerston.
“This is on top of the fact that there is more domestic violence and crime against the person now than when the CLP first came to power – in stark contrast to the CLP’s commitment to cut crime by 10 per cent a year, every year.
“It is a good thing the Chief Minister, Adam Giles, handballed this portfolio over to his deputy as he himself wasn’t up to the job.”
The NT Police Crime Statistics ending October 2014 reveal that it has taken no less than 797 days for the CLP Government to get violent crime down to around the same levels they inherited them in 2012, a far cry from their promise to reduce crime by 10 percent each year.
“Since taking office in 2012, we saw an explosion of crime when the CLP Government irresponsibly scrapped the Banned Drinker Register; cut the police budget; closed police beats and failed to deliver the promised 120 extra police,” Shadow Minister for Police, Lynne Walker said.
“Crime went out of control; and 2013 was the most violent year in Territory history.
“For over two years the Territory suffered while the CLP Government lurched from crisis to crisis with no direction on how to tackle the crime scourge.
“The CLP broke their promise of 120 extra police, and tried to claim the 94 police given to the former Labor Government by the former Federal Labor Government was part of that commitment, despite there now being 61 less police than there were at the same time last year.
“Darwin and Palmerston are bearing the brunt with record levels of violent crime – with 2220 crimes against the person occurring in Darwin alone in the past 12 months.
“The CLP have also abandoned the Alcohol Policy and Mandatory Alcohol Treatment portfolios to avoid accountability on the biggest social issue in the Territory, alcohol misuse.
“Where crime still rages, with an increase in house break-ins of 37.7 percent in Darwin, and Alcohol related assaults up 7.3 percent in Palmerston, 10 police officers have been removed and sent to Katherine to man bottle shops – which is stretching police resources even further.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667