26 October 2023

The Northern Territory Police Association says it’s deeply concerning only 14 officers have been added to the NT Police Force in the past financial year.

The Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services Annual Report 2022-23, which was tabled in Parliament this week shows:

  • 1,621.37 full time equivalent (FTE) police officers in 2022-23; compared with
  • 1,607.50 in 2021-22
Meanwhile, the latest NT Crime Statistics show year on year to 31 August 2023, across the Territory:
  • Assaults increased 21.3%
  • Domestic violence related assaults increased 25.59%
  • Alcohol related assaults increased 18.04%
  • Sexual assaults increased 24.86%
  • House break ins increased 18.46%

NTPA President Nathan Finn says it’s farcical the NT Government expects police to deal with record levels of crime, harm and violence right across the Territory with just 14 additional police officers.

“The level of demand faced by our members is unprecedented. Figures highlighted in the annual report show the Joint Emergency Services Call Centre (JESCC) answered approximately 19,000 more police 000 calls compared with the previous financial year.

“It’s little wonder that the number of 000 calls answered within 10 seconds has plummeted to 76.4% compared with 80.6% in 2021-22. It is the Association’s view that poor government policy, particularly around alcohol, is a major contributing factor to the current record levels of crime. Either adequately resource police, or cut crime and violence – that’s the choice for Government.

“The NTPA also has serious concerns about the number of injuries recorded in the workplace. Policing, by its very nature, is challenging and dangerous – both physically and mentally, and a failure to resource the police force appropriately is contributing to this rising statistic. It is also placing further pressure on our members to meet demand which has become an impossible task, let alone engage in proactive policing or targeted action to protect the community.

“Not only are our members subjected to attacks, abuse and assaults on a daily basis, they’re facing an overwhelming workload and burnout, as well as psychological injuries. This has led to a substantial number of police officers on extended sick leave. A significant proportion of that is accepted Workers’ Compensation claims, which means it is accepted that our member’s injury or illness has occurred from purely doing the job they are employed to do, and made worse by their job, or is a consequence of the work they perform.

Mr Finn said it is pleasing to see the annual report show the police attrition rate improve, down slightly from a peak of 10.65% last financial year, but says it’s still unacceptably high.

“NTPA analysis of NT Police Force data, since January 1 2023, shows 126 officers have left the force through resignation, retirement or dismissal. That means an average of 12.6 officers are leaving each month.

“In March there were 16 resignations, 17 officers resigned in April and there were 15 resignations in July. Resignations included two Superintendents, 12 Sergeants and Senior Sergeants, 54 Constables and 40 Auxiliaries. In the same period, only 123 officers were recruited: 76 Constables and 57 Police Auxiliaries. That means, in the seven months it takes to train a Recruit Constable in a squad of between 30 – 40, we would have lost on average 88 officers. We can’t understand why retaining experienced police officers isn’t a priority for the Government.

“When you calculate the length of service of each officer who has resigned or retired, the Northern Territory Police Force has lost more than 1,000 years’ experience since January 1, 2023. You can’t replace that experience with a recruit who has just walked out of the PFES College.

“Instead of paying up to $20,000 for recruits to relocate to the Territory, how about we use that funding to retain the experience we already have,” said Mr Finn.


Please direct all media enquiries to NTPA Communications Officer, Kyrrie Blenkinsop +61 (0) 499 017 654 or

The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) is the industrial voice of all members of the Northern Territory Police Force. Read more via or join us on Facebook at