30 October 2023
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) acknowledges today’s NT Government Cabinet reshuffle with the most junior member of NT Labor, Brent Potter, taking on the police portfolio.
NTPA President Nathan Finn said it’s difficult to see this move as anything other than downgrading the significance and relevance of one of the most important NT Government departments, at a time when the Territory is plagued by record levels of crime and the NT Police Force is crippled by chronic understaffing and under resourcing.
“We welcome the Chief Minister’s attempt to address the issue of having one Minister overseeing both Police and Territory Families, which often led to conflicting interests and priorities – but we have very real concerns around Mr Potter’s lack of experience.
“The Police portfolio is too important to be handballed to a novice minister with a mere 12 months of Government experience. A sensible decision would have been for Natasha Fyles to reclaim the portfolio, which has traditionally sat with the Chief Minister.
“The NTPA is willing to work with whoever has responsibility for the police portfolio, but there must be real and meaningful consultation, to address the concerns of our members. To date, that has been severely lacking.
“There are significant challenges in policing, and it will be up to the new Minister to assure our members he understands those demands and demonstrate how he will address ongoing concerns around attrition, retention, insufficient staffing and resourcing, health and wellbeing, and morale.
“Our members have serious concerns around poor government policy, including bail and alcohol laws, which has a significant impact on their ability to perform their duties safely and effectively.
“Without a genuine commitment from Government, we’re struggling to see how a new Police Minister will reverse the detrimental impact of poor policy decisions, and a lack of support for our members.
Results from our February 2023 membership survey were clear:
- 97.6 percent of respondents do not believe there are enough police to do what is asked of them;
- 80.7 percent rated morale as low, or very low;
- 96.7 percent do not feel supported by the NT Government;
- 85.3 percent have considered an exit strategy from the NT Police Force in the last six to twelve months.
“The results of the survey are still reflective of the deep-seated concerns and needs of our members, and they cannot be ignored. It remains a stark reminder that urgent action is needed to address issues of chronic understaffing, critical lack of resources, lack of support from Government, and the high attrition rate within the NT Police Force,” 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