Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson said the increase of anti-social behaviour should not be blamed on the Banned Drinkers Register.
“We are less than six months in to the BDR being implemented. Any discussion about its effectiveness at this stage is disingenuous,” Ms Nelson said.
“There are many contributing factors to crime and these figures are not an appropriate measure of whether the BDR is working effectively.
“And comparison to the previous government’s approach is inappropriate – although both policies are Point of Sale Interventions, the previous approach was punitive approach, with no policies or programs to support it, which is stark contrast to the BDR policy,” she said.
Katherine Mayor Fay Miller believes the rise in public drunkenes is a result of fewer police in Katherine bottle shops.
“We had the whole town cleaned up, but now we are heading backwards,” Mayor Miller said.
"People wanted police to stay in the bottle shops.
“I went around to all of the licensed premises in town and there was not one police officer,” she said.
Central Command acting commander Lauren Hill said police are still manning takeaway grog stores in Katherine.
“The deployment of police to temporary beat locations (TBLs) in Katherine is still undertaken by Katherine Police,” acting commander Hill said.
“TBLs are part of a broad range of strategies used by police to prevent alcohol related harm, targeting anti-social behaviour and the secondary supply of alcohol to vulnerable persons.”
Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson said police are still in Katherine bottle shops.
“Katherine police are continuing to maintain their presence at bottle shops but there will be times when they will be called away to deal with higher-priority policing matters.
“By way of example, police operating at bottle shops on the 22nd and 23rd of December warned-off 57 people from buying alcohol, arrested seven, conveyed another 11 to the watch house, six to the Sobering up Shelter and took seven others home. They also tipped out 20L of alcohol,” Ms Nelson said.
“I want less violence and less crime from alcohol. I also want to support my neighbours, friends, acquaintances and residents of this town that need additional resources to help address addiction issues and family and domestic violence, related to alcoholism.
Ms Nelson said the BDR would be evaluated in June this year.
She said the NT Government has “taken clear steps” to address the problem.
“We have already started working towards an expanded alcohol harm reduction framework:
- Establishing the Alcohol Review Implementation Team (ARIT), a unit that sits within the Department of the Chief Minister, to drive reforms and coordinate engagement with stakeholders.
- Developing legislation to re-establish a Liquor Commission which will be introduced to Parliament next montH
- Seeking Expressions of Interest for a Liquor Commission
- Repealing the 400m floor space requirement for liquor stores
- Extending and expanded the moratorium on new takeaway liquor licences