Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Cutting Youth Crime and Supporting Our Police

Youth offenders will undertake community work sentences, and adults who recruit kids to commit offences will face up to 10 years imprisonment under new measures from the Territory Labor Government to improve community safety.

These measures are part of new targeted measures to tackle crime, and swiftly hold people responsible for their actions.

They will also include additional resources to police, which will see our School Based policing numbers boosted as well as a massive increase in CCTV cameras across the Territory.

The Government has implemented a range of reforms this term to deliver tougher consequences and break the cycle of re-offending. But we know there is more to do.

The Government’s additional measures are:

More Action to Tackle Youth Offending

·         Clear and Immediate Consequences for Repeat Offenders: including the establishment of a community work program that will see offenders cleaning graffiti and clearing weeds and landscaping.

·         Targeting Ringleaders: introduce legislation that targets adults who recruit youth to commit offences – punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. 

·         Tough Bail and Monitoring Conditions: increasing compliance checking of youth bail to reduce repeat offending, through additional staff in police and Territory Families, along with increased funding for Alcohol and Other Drugs Testing.

·         Family Responsibility and Accountability: returning Family Responsibility Agreements and Orders that were previously scrapped by the CLP government – allowing agreements to be made and courts to order families of troubled youths to participate in family group conferencing and counselling, education or training, housing management and financial counselling or on-country programs.

·         Strengthening the Voice of Victims: Victim/Offender conferencing expanded to all regions, increased funding for financial relief of victims (such as resecuring premises and vehicles, clean-up, and security assessments).

·         Establishment of Community Accountability Boards:  comprised of businesses, elders and the community to have their say on offender consequences and community expectations.

·         Expansion of the Back on Track Program: increasing boot camps and on country work camps across the Territory, behavioural programs and increased training and education for at-risk youths.

Strengthen Community Safety and Resourcing of Police

·         Community Safety: Retainment of police levels through regular recruitment programs, expansion of the School Based Policing Program, increase CCTV with a focus on suburban locations, increase CCTV monitoring.

·         Penalties for Property Crime: Reviewing of penalties for all property offences including unlawful entries, unlawful use of motor vehicles

·         Supporting Our Police: Continuation of on the COVID-19 spot fines for spitting and coughing on frontline works, including police officers, increased wellbeing and PTSD support services, and look to make the removal of a firearm from a police officer an indictable offence.

·         Remote Policing: recruit and train more Aboriginal Community Police Officers and Aboriginal Liaison Officers in communities, development of Community Safety Action Plans for every major community, and the development of a 10 year infrastructure plan for remote stations.

Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

“Offenders will face more consequences for committing crime.

“Community work sentencing, more boot camps and tougher bail conditions mean more consequences for youth offenders.

“Territorians know this is a difficult issue with no silver bullet. It takes hard work and time to get it right.

Quotes from Police Minister Nicole Manison:

“Our investments are starting to make a difference. Our alcohol policies are cutting violence and crime across the Territory.

“We have invested more than any other government when it comes to tackling crime, this includes more police with better resources, over 400 more CCTV cameras, and stronger penalties for youth offenders – like boot camps. We are also building a new detention centre.

“When the Terry Mills and the CLP cut services last time, crime went up. You can’t tackle crime with more cuts, but that’s what the CLP and Terry’s Alliance will do again if they get the chance.”

Media Contact - Hannah Farmer - 0428 497 154