14 August 2020 

The President of the Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) has called on the leaders of the major political parties to publicly commit to “Back the Blue”, just a week before Territorians head to the polls.

At the opening session of today’s NTPA 2020 Annual Conference, President Paul McCue warned political leaders and senior Police management time for action on crucial issues of remote policing, assaults on members, mental health and wellbeing, and changes to the archaic internal discipline system is now.

Mr McCue said added pressures on Territory policing has been further exacerbated by the unprecedented COVID response, which must now be seen as a long-term policing requirement and no longer a short-term emergency response. 

But he cautioned this would come at a significant mental and physical cost to our members if additional police are not recruited.

Mr McCue also highlighted results from the 2020 pre-election survey which reinforced some blatant broken promises of the past, and lack of investment into key areas which affect day to day policing.

“We are seeking a genuine commitment on infrastructure, funding and staff for remote stations.

“Members were loud and clear in surveys to us in 2012, 2015, 2018 and in the 2020 pre-election survey. Lack of staffing, little respite and poor-quality housing is why we don’t want to go bush.

Mr McCue ramped up calls for the urgent introduction of mandatory minimum sentencing for offenders found guilty of assaulting police.

“On average, 250 reported assaults are occurring on our members each year. Many are not being reported. Vicious, cowardly and unprovoked attacks are occurring almost daily on our members and many are being assaulted with deadly weapons or deadly and life-changing communicable diseases.

“The overwhelming message from our members is that they are feeling let down by the courts.
Mandatory minimum sentencing is necessary as not only a deterrent to members of the public, but a strong message of support for our police and emergency service workers.

“The glaring and obvious lack of action on these important issues has worn thin. The blue uniform must be supported and protected, and that starts at the top,” said Mr McCue.


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