04 October 2023
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) is calling on the NT Government to stop gambling with public safety and stop creating more work for police, by expanding its ‘cheap policing’ program.
NTPA President Nathan Finn said the Government is ignoring the resourcing and staffing crisis within the NT Police Force, and instead forking out millions of dollars for security guards, and equipping Transit Safety Officers (TSO) with accoutrements that should only be carried by highly-trained, experienced police officers.
“Our frontline, and the public, should not be punished because the NT Government cannot find the funds to adequately resource our police. Law and order is not an area where corners should be cut.
“This is a blatant attempt by the NT Government to fool the public into thinking they’re safe. Government has its priorities all wrong and the community is, and will continue to, suffer. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
“When a member of the community is confronted by a violent offender that warrants capsicum spray being deployed, they expect a police officer who has the experience and training to respond, not bus stop security. Either adequately resource police, or cut crime – it’s that simple.
“This won’t ease the burden on police, who still have to respond to incidents ‘managed’ by security guards or TSOs, as well as an additional workload investigating allegations of assault by private security or TSOs.
“We also have serious concerns about the lack of accountability and scrutiny around the use of capsicum spray by TSOs, and use of force by security guards. When police deploy force, they are subjected to internal reviews and oversight by the Ombudsman. There is no such accountability nor scrutiny of private security guards, and TSOs are protected against civil and criminal liability under section 12 of the Public Transport (Passenger Safety) Act 2008 in the ‘performance of a function as a transit officer’.
“The NT Government must prioritise public safety, reduce crime and properly resource our members, rather than resorting to ‘cheap policing’ in a shameless attempt to try and make up for ineffective law and order policies which are letting all of us down,” said Mr Finn.
Please direct all media enquiries to NTPA Communications Officer, Kyrrie Blenkinsop +61 (0) 499 017 654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) is the industrial voice of all members of the Northern Territory Police Force. Read more via www.ntpa.com.au or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NTPoliceAssociation