Breaking the Cycle of Youth Crime - Alice Springs

The Northern Territory Government is implementing the Breaking the Cycle plan to tackle youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Alice Springs.

Breaking the Cycle includes seven initiatives to target at-risk young people to get them onto a better path and away from a lifetime of crime. Initiatives include:

  • Appointment of 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.
  • Expansion of the youth drop-in centres at Gap Youth and Community Centre and Tangentyere Council Brown Street now operating seven nights a week, and preparing to extend their bus service.
  • Expansion of the hours of the Tangentyere Night Patrol to get young people off the streets. Patrols will run seven nights a week from 6pm-3am.
  • Creation of an Aboriginal Youth Outreach Service. The Aboriginal Youth Outreach Service will build community cohesion and resilience by supporting cultural activities and events.In addition a team of senior, respected Aboriginal outreach workers will provide advice and support to youth engagement officers and mentor Aboriginal youth, drawing on the cultural authority of the Tangentyere Council Men’s Four Corners Group and Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group.
  • Allocation of two School Engagement Officers to work with young people who have been identified as being disengaged from schooling. These officers have been appointed.
  • Allocation of three School Compliance Officers to work with young people when attempts to increase school attendance has not been successful. These officers have been appointed.
  • 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.

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

  • The Alice Springs Interagency Case Management Group (ICMG) with staff from Territory Families, NT Police, and the Department of Education that focus on up to 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.
  • Operation Marsh was launched in Alice Springs in February 2019 by NT Police, the Department of Education, Territory Families and Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development. Police are conducting increasing overt and covert targeted patrols in areas frequented by property offenders and working 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 for 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.
  • The $20 million revitalisation of the CBD includes a $5 million Crime Prevention through Environmental Design suite of initiatives, including the construction of safety zones, and improved lighting and wayfinding.

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

Last updated: 24 June 2019

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