$11.83 Million Allocated To Target Supply Of Alcohol In The Northern Territory

$11.83 Million Allocated To Target Supply Of Alcohol In The Northern Territory

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner

Comprehensive Plan To Stop Alcohol-Fuelled Violence

Victor P Taffa

Additional 75 Police auxiliaries will be trained as Liquor Inspectors and stationed in front of bottle shops as part of a comprehensive Northern Territory Government plan to stop alcohol-fuelled violence in the Northern Territory.

Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors will form part of a new 97-member strong unit within the Northern Territory Police, and will include 12 Police officers specifically targeting secondary supply, 7 operational staff and 3 prosecutors.

Measures will be backed by an $11.83 Million investment annually the largest ever investment allocated to target the supply of alcohol in the Northern Territory.

This will see frontline Police return to core Policing roles including getting them back into remote Police stations and will deliver on recommendations from the historic Riley Review into Alcohol.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the 75 Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors will be additional to the 120 extra Police officers already promised this term of government.

“Every Territorian has the right to feel safe and expect their homes, businesses and property to be secure.” Chief Minister Gunner said.

“Territory Government has outlined sweeping alcohol reforms to achieve generational change through the Riley Review into alcohol policy.”

Today I am taking this even further and announcing:

  1. Creation of a new unit within NT Police comprising 97 Police officers (75 Police auxiliary liquor inspectors, 12 Police officers to target secondary supply, 3 prosecutors to focus on license breach prosecutions);
  2. 10 additional CCTV cameras to be deployed outside bottle shops to catch those people involved in secondary supply;
  3. Legislation to empower Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors to conduct point of sale duties, including the ability to intervene and stop sales at take away liquor outlets;
  4. Return of existing Police currently stationed at TBL’s to perform frontline Policing duties.

“We have seen how destructive excessive consumption of alcohol is in the Northern Territory particularly in relation to child neglect and the exposure of children to domestic violence.” Chief Minister Gunner said.

“My Government is tackling this challenge by employing more police and giving them the resources and tools to do their job, bringing back the Banned Drinkers Register, limiting new take away alcohol licenses and reforming youth justice and correction systems.”

75 Police auxiliary liquor inspectors will be located in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine.

“These Police auxiliaries will be recruited over the next 12 months, and trained in Alice Springs.” Chief Minister Gunner said.

They are being prioritised so that approximately 36 Police are taken off bottle shops and returned to frontline duties including back into remote stations enabling them to respond to community safety and anti-social behaviour.

“Community safety has always been a priority for the Territory Government. We are tackling the causes of crime and social dysfunction by combating alcohol abuse, investing in the early years and reforming our child protection and youth justice systems.” Member for Braitling Dale Wakefield said.

12 Police officers that will tackle secondary supply will be initially based in Darwin and Palmerston and will focus on investigating and preventing the secondary supply of alcohol. They will travel throughout the Territory.

“Alcohol fuelled violence and dysfunction has impacted the town community of Tennant Creek for decades.” Member for Barkly Gerry McCarthy said.

They will work alongside 7 additional support staff to assist in increased monitoring and compliance of liquor licence conditions, as well as 3 Police prosecutors to focus on prosecutions, preparation of complaints and training the workforce.

“These additional resources announced today will enable our frontline Police to return to the beat, while dedicated Police auxiliary liquor inspectors are stationed at the front of bottle shops. The Territory Government is making our communities safer, but it is also important that the community works with us so we can all put a stop to alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.” Member for Katherine Sandra Nelson said.

A range of changes will be introduced in the upcoming March sittings so that these new powers can take effect.

Abbreviations:

NT                   Northern Territory

TBL                 Temporary Beat Location