Breaking the Cycle of Youth Crime - Alice Springs

The Northern Territory Government is committed to breaking the cycle of youth crime and antisocial behaviour in Alice Springs.

The Breaking the Cycle of Youth Crime plan will deliver a suite of measures to make Alice Springs safer. The Northern Territory Government will:

  • Expand the hours of the youth drop-in centres at Gap Youth and Community Centre and Tangentyere Council Brown Street to operate seven days a week.
  • Expand the hours of the Tangentyere Night Patrol to help get young people off the streets. It will run seven days a week from 6pm-3am.
  • Appoint seven Youth Engagement Night Officers (YENOs) to engage with young people identified as being regularly involved in crime.
    They will work seven days a week from 8pm-3am. YENOs will be specialist professional youth workers assigned to provide intensive support to young people up to the age of 17 who are unsupervised in public places in Alice Springs. They will make dedicated referrals for ongoing support, programs and services to government and non-government youth services according to the needs of the young person.
  • YENOs will work closely with NT Police, Territory Families Youth Outreach and Re-Engagement Team (YORET) and non-government youth services to ensure the safety of and ongoing support for young people.
  • Allocate two School Engagement Officers to work with students who have been identified as being disengaged from education with the aim to reengage them into education, training or other eligible educational options. The officers will also work collaboratively with schools, government services, and service providers to implement school attendance strategies.
  • Allocate three School Compliance Officers to work with young people when attempts to increase school attendance has not been successful.
  • Place more mobile CCTV cameras in antisocial behaviour hotspots. Mobile CCTV cameras allow police to rapidly deploy an overt surveillance capability that can be monitored live to assist in detecting incidents and identifying and prosecuting offenders.
  • Create an Aboriginal Youth Outreach Service to build community cohesion and resilience through community engagement and supporting cultural activities and events.
    A team of senior, respected Aboriginal outreach workers will provide advice and support to YENOs and mentor Aboriginal youth. The program will be Aboriginal led, drawing on the cultural authority of the Tangentyere Council Men’s Four Corners Group and Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group. Tangentyere Council, Arrernte Elders and eminent community members strongly support proactive interventions with young people and their families. Four of the ten new positions will be dedicated Arrernte traditional owner specialist roles to enable them to call on their cultural authority as Traditional Owners of Mparntwe/Alice Springs to engage with young people who frequent public places unsupervised at night

A range of cross agency efforts to tackle youth crime in Alice Springs have also been introduced, including:

  • The Alice Springs Interagency Case Management Group (ICMG) with staff from Territory Families, NT Police, and the Department of Education to focus on 30 young people (and their families) to ensure issues causing bad behaviour are identified and tackled to reduce the likelihood of future offending or reoffending.
  • A cross agency youth outreach response to engage with and respond to young people frequenting the streets late at night
  • Operation Cradle, an action plan between NT Police, Territory Families and youth service providers to work together to reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour during the school holidays;
  • Operation Marsh was recently launched in Alice Springs by NT Police, the Department of Education, Territory Families and Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development. Police will conduct increasing overt and covert targeted police patrols in areas frequented by property offenders and work closely with other agencies in the case management of offenders.
  • School-based policing, with a more flexible approach than the previous school policing program, to provide more flexibility to target at risk youth. The program focuses on positive youth engagement and delivery of vital safety education.
  • $1.75 million each year for youth activities in Alice Springs for after hours and during school holidays.
  • The $5 million Back on Track program provides an alternative to detention and alternative pathways to divert young people away from the youth justice system. Offenders must take responsibility for their actions and give back to the community to repair the harm they have caused.
  • Funding 10 non-government organisations to provide youth diversion services across 48 locations throughout the Territory, including restorative justice conferences where the young offender and the victim are present.
  • Government-funded nightly security patrols conducted by Talice Security throughout the Alice Springs CBD.

Download the Alice Springs Breaking the Cycle fact sheet here (192.2 kb).

Last updated: 10 May 2019