17 June 2020

The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) is calling for the urgent introduction of mandatory minimum sentencing for offenders found guilty of assaulting police or emergency service workers, following a string of disturbing attacks on our members.

NTPA President Paul McCue said the lack of respect shown towards police in Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Darwin in three separate incidents over the past week is nothing short of disgraceful. 

“In Tennant Creek, our officers were attending a serious incident in the community, dealing with allegations of an assault on a child, when they were surrounded by members of the public as they tried to make an arrest.  Think about that, police are trying to help a child and the public turn on them. They should be ashamed of themselves. 

“Then in Alice Springs an alleged offender thinks it is ok to spit into the face of two of our officers while in custody, and in Darwin one of our members is attacked at the Darwin Watch House.  

“Our members are fed up with the kicking, punching, biting and spitting they are subjected to on an almost daily basis. There is a section of the community that still doesn’t get it: hands off our police.

“In the 2018-19 financial year, 200 police officers were assaulted across the Territory. While this is down on the previous year (260), the five-year average of 245 assaults annually is despicable. 

“The NTPA is calling for mandatory minimum sentencing of three months for a first offence and six months for a second offence for Section 189A of the Criminal Code. Assaults on police or emergency workers; whether or not physical harm is caused.

“These law changes are urgently needed so the judiciary can send a strong message to would-be offenders: if you attack a cop, you will go to prison”, said Mr McCue.


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