18 May 2022

NT Police members continued to be assaulted on the job at an almost daily rate and this week’s parliamentary sittings will give new Chief Minister Natasha Fyles the opportunity to show the members of the police force where she sits in supporting protection for frontline workers.

The NT Police Association is calling on new Chief Minister Natasha Fyles to back frontline police by supporting the CLP’s proposed sentencing amendments for assault police laws set to be debated in parliament this week.

To hear the police minister recently refer to the proposed changes as “window dressing” was completely disrespectful to our members.  At the very least, this is a step in the right direction in demonstrating support to those out their protecting us each and every day.

Three more members were assaulted in separate appalling incidents in Alice Springs over the weekend. A Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspector was spat on by an intoxicated male who was stopped from purchasing alcohol and an officer was punched in the face while another had a jerry can thrown at them during an arrest. Rocks were also thrown at police cars during a large community disturbance involving up to 300 people in Wadeye.

This is on top of an alarming 37 assaults on our members in a 37-day period recently, including having hair pulled out, punched to the head, receiving a cracked rib, spat at repeatedly, and being attacked with a steel pole, just to name a few.

NTPA President Paul McCue said the protection of NT Police members by implementing tougher mandatory sentencing for all assaults on police should be supported by politicians of all persuasions.

“Day in, day out, our members are being subjected to violent and disgusting behaviour. They are being targeted with violence while doing their job, a job which the vast majority of the community greatly appreciates them doing,” Mr McCue said.

“Those charged with assaulting police continue to go before the courts but serving jail time for these assaults is a rarity, if any time is served at all. Something must change. For a person to spit at, punch, kick and attack a police officer and to walk away with a fine or suspended sentence – it doesn’t meet the community’s expectation. It doesn’t meet the expectations of our members.

“Penalties for assaulting police must be stronger and Ms Fyles has the chance to support the police who worked tirelessly for her during the pandemic when she was the Health Minister.”