Police face danger on grog duties

Police working alone on bottle shop duties are needlessly exposed to danger, according to their union.

Northern Territory Police Association president Paul McCue said police are working on alcohol duties in places like Katherine risking harm.

Mr McCue’s comments follow an alleged assault on a policeman outside a bottle shop in Alice Springs during the week.

Police working "one-up" at bottle shops in Katherine are needlessly exposed to danger, according to the police association.

Police working "one-up" at bottle shops in Katherine are needlessly exposed to danger, according to the police association.

He said the police association was “disgusted that, yet again, a police officer’s life has been put in danger by an irate member of the public outside a takeaway liquor outlet”.

Mr McCue said despite the Government’s so-called positive spin around the recent public announcement on Police continuing to stand at bottle shops in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine, one glaring omission remains -  the lives of police are being put at risk by being forced to work alone.

“It is clear that inadequate funding for extra resources has put pressure on senior police to make officers work alone in dangerous, volatile environments.

“If the Government and the Police Commissioner were serious about the safety of our members, sufficient funding would be provided to ensure our officers work in pairs, a basic common safety measure taught in recruit training.

“This is nothing short of disgraceful. Why are the liquor outlets not being forced to employ security as well?

“Thankfully, the officer is okay, but it could have been much worse. This was an experienced officer, who had the necessary training to handle this risky situation, despite working ‘one up’. What if this was an inexperienced Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspector with just 12 weeks training who, in the eyes of the public, would be expected to operate as a Constable with more comprehensive training?”

Meanwhile, NT police have thanked the public for dobbing in grog runners.

In the past three weeks, police have seized about 200 litres of alcohol which had departed Mount Isa, bound for Tennant Creek.

Another male was identified as having been behind the attempted supply of 185 litres of cask wine which was seized before he fled back to Townsville, avoiding charges.

A 52-year-old male was also charged with supplying alcohol to a person on the Banned Drinkers’ Register and is now on the BDR himself.

“Some of the success we’ve had has been a result of information from the public, so we would like to thank them” Superintendent in the Tennant Creek Barkly Division Kerry Hoskins said.

“We want the public to continue to dob in a grog runner and help make our community a safer place.”

Anyone with information about grog running is urged to notify police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 to assist police with their enquiries.