21 January 2019
Despite spending an additional $18 million per year on youth crime prevention, the Labor Government’s poorly executed policies have failed to make any discernible difference.
Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said the latest filmed melee at Palmerston Shopping Centre is just one of a long list of instances which have outraged Territorians.
"Break-ins are strikingly higher across the territory, with Katherine hit worst with a 167 per cent increase in commercial break-ins and Tennant Creek and Alice Springs experiencing rises in house-break ins of 92 per cent and 63 per cent respectively," Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said.
"For Palmerston, the weekend’s fracas came on top of the latest crime statistics which show commercial break-ins are up by a massive 42 percent year-on-year.
"But no matter what the statistics say, we’re always ultimately concerned for the victims. There have been too many break-ins, too much vandalism, too many thefts, too much criminal damage – way too much crime across the Territory.
"Labor brags about its so-called initiatives and insists they are working. Try telling that to the shop keeper or restaurant owner who has been vandalised for the umpteenth time. Try explaining that to the kid who has his bike stolen from his home by some low life.
"On top of bragging, the government has also said they’ll cut the police budget to pay for Labor’s mishandling of the economy. The government not only stands condemned for their bungling and ineptitude, they stand condemned for failing to address the safety and security of Territorians.
"Enough is enough.
"Government needs to hold young offenders accountable and make their parents and carers a part of the solution. They should be attending court with their children and courts should have the discretion to order parents/carers to oversee and ensure young offenders successfully complete practical training programs.
"There needs to be increase police visibility on our streets and they need to be questioning kids that are out and about late at night.
"And there needs to be stronger consequences with young offenders paying their debt to the community by performing public service (cleaning up neighbourhoods, repainting vandalism, clearing away broken glass).
"Diversion needs to be strengthened and actually divert offenders – boot camps should be used which include job training and work experience."