Local News

Calls for more police on Darwin streets despite NT Government's new measures


Darwin’s Lord Mayor has renewed his call for more police on city streets despite new safety measures being announced by the NT Government.

The government plans to create a Public Order Response Unit to provide a greater security presence in Palmerston and Darwin’s northern suburbs which will complement private patrols in the CBD.

It will comprise Larrakia Nation, City of Palmerston and City of Darwin Rangers, Transit Security Officers and other frontline service providers who will engage with local businesses and respond to issues.

Changes have also been made to the government’s Biz Secure program to better assist business owners in bolstering their security measures.

But Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis says the measures won’t stop crime from happening.

“You can do everything you like, you can actually put locks and everything else, people if they want to break in they will break in…but if the police are around people will think twice before they do that,” he says.

“It’s common sense, you put troops on the streets, all of a sudden, things go quiet.”


Lord Mayor Vatskalis says he was recently contacted by the Perth Mayor, who is also dealing with anti-social behaviour in his community, which has now received a boost in police numbers.

“He send me an email the other day bragging to me the WA police allocated 125 police officers to patrol the Perth CBD because they have the same problem.”

“25 [police] would be really good to see in the [Darwin] streets.”

“I know the police hierarchy believes in taskforce but I give them a hint the taskforce will be very popular if it is a community policing taskforce [with] police on the streets.”

He says police are a strong deterrent.

“You don’t do stupid things if you know there are going to be 20 or 30 people patrolling the streets of Darwin and they’re more likely to catch you.”

He says he’s hearing widespread concerns about the lack of officers patrolling the CBD.

“Every resident in Darwin [is] telling me that they don’t see police in the streets, I don’t know if I’m blind and I can’t see blue but I haven’t seen blue for a long long time in the streets.”

The NT Government says police will conduct daily patrols focusing on curbing alcohol-fuelled violence and secondary supply of grog.

A dedicated group will also be set up to tackle secondary supply with representation from police and government agencies, who will work with local councils and peak bodies to develop harm minimisation strategies.

It’s understood all Territory Mayors will meet with the Chief Minister to talk about crime and anti-social behaviour on July 27.

(Photo: Mark Neilson, Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis all via FB)