22 new grog cops for Katherine

BIG STICK: There is a $15,000 fine for anyone caught breaching the BDR.
BIG STICK: There is a $15,000 fine for anyone caught breaching the BDR.

The NT Government has released more details today on the surprise scheme to hire more auxiliary police to patrol bottle shops.

They plan to locate 22 of the new auxiliaries in Katherine.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner unveiled the scheme yesterday as a way of cracking down on anti-social behaviour as a result of complaints from towns like Katherine.

And at a minimum, the new auxiliaries will be armed with tasers.

Twelve police officers will target secondary supply as part of the Government’s comprehensive plans unveiled yesterday to tackle alcohol-related crime.

The 12 police officers will focus on catching those who try to circumvent the Banned Drinker Register (BDR). They will likely be based in Darwin and Palmerston but work NT wide. 

Ten additional CCTV cameras will also be deployed outside bottle shops and other hot spots to catch those people involved in secondary supply.

“We are tackling alcohol-fuelled crime and violence head on because Territorians deserve safe communities,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.

“We have listened and are making big changes - sweeping alcohol reforms - because we are very serious about this. No Government has done more.”

Mr Gunner said there is a $15,000 fine for anyone caught breaching the BDR. The NT Government will also be toughening its enforcement and compliance regime under a re-written Liquor Act – as recommended in the Riley Review.

“If you do the wrong thing you will be caught,” Mr Gunner said.

 “Operation Haven recently uncovered 10 alleged breaches of the Licensing Act, and seized vehicles from drivers accused of bringing liquor into Alcohol Protected Areas. These 12 officers will focus on this sort of work full time, ensure compliance and get the best results possible as we tackle the issue of alcohol fuelled violence and crime head on.”

Mr Gunner said alcohol purchases at bottle shops will be better monitored with 75 dedicated Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors intervening and stopping sales where needed (which frees up 36 police officers currently on Point of Sale Intervention duties to return to frontline/community policing).

The Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors – who will at a minimum be armed with tasers - and 12 police officers targeting secondary supply will form part of a new 97-member strong unit within the NT Police, which also include seven operational support staff and three prosecutors.

“We need to deliver generational change,” he said.  “Introducing a solution for Point of Sale Interventions (POSI) at Liquor outlets was a key recommendation of the recent Riley Review into alcohol legislation and policy – we have taken decisive action to do this.

“People trust my Government to do the right thing after years of CLP chaos. Failed former CLP Minister’s Robyn Lambley and Gary Higgins did nothing when they had their chance and now refuse to be part of the solution.”

Depending on demand and operational need, the 75 Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors will approximately be allocated: Alice Springs 41, Katherine 22, Tennant Creek 12.

He said the 75 Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors were additional to the 120 extra police promised this term of Government.


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