25 March 2021

The Northern Territory Police Association welcomes proposed changes by the government and opposition to tackling youth crime but says it is disappointing Labor has delayed debate until May when police need help dealing with the crime wave now.

NTPA President Paul McCue said while there might be some concern about locking up more youths with tougher bail laws and winding back Royal Commission recommendations the facts were that current policies were not working.

The NTPA supports Labor and the CLP’s proposed laws that would not grant bail to repeat offenders including young people that breach their bail.

It is an outrageous statistic that 50 per cent of those youths on bail are committing further offences, Mr McCue said.

The NTPA is supportive of the proposed mandatory electronic monitoring for repeat offenders and supports adding the offences of unlawful entry, unlawful use of a motor vehicles and importantly assault police (and worker) to the prescribed offences list.

“We have got to the point where something had to give and that was through Alice Springs being put in the national spotlight through Channel Nine’s A Current Affair showing the crimes and issues our police have been at the forefront of and dealing with for some time,” Mr McCue said.

“Our members, the men, and women of the NT Police Force, are doing everything they can within the legislative framework they operate under, and it is time Government played their part. The Chief Minister said he did not feel bail legislation was a problem not that long ago and has now delayed debating these urgent changes until May.  .

“Having a Royal Commission and setting recommendations doesn’t mean you don’t review them if they are not working, you can’t just have a long-term plan without some short-term options as well.

“The feedback I am getting from police members is that some children are getting too many opportunities and there is a widespread view among some youths of feeling “untouchable, to the point they are blatantly telling victims that if confronted”.

“Hopefully there is a positive outcome that reduces the number of victims, breaks the cycle of re-offending and positively impacts police work and resources.

“We need a clear timeline for this change in legislation to happen sooner rather than later, police cannot go through another summer like they have been through and sending extra resources down to Alice Springs impacts negatively on other areas.”


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