The team of new police auxiliaries taking over bottle shop duties from regular police will be in Katherine earlier than expected.
In response to the recent spate of town-wide break-ins Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson called for the new grog cops to “start as soon as possible”.
“I will always fight for the people of Katherine - and this is why I have been fighting for our 10 Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors to start as soon as possible,” Ms Nelson said.
“[On Thursday] I spoke to the Police Minister and can advise the inspectors will begin in Katherine in early January, after they graduate at the end of December.
“This is a win for Katherine.”
Katherine was set to receive 22 of the 75 police auxiliaries in late January or early February next year as part of a government plan to stop alcohol-fueled violence in the NT.
“As I have said numerous times, I am supportive of any measure that mitigates violence and crime associated with alcohol,” Ms Nelson said.
“I am supportive of all recommendations presented in the Riley Review, which includes the presence of police in front of bottle shops for the first two years during the reintroduction of the BDR.
“I am fighting for the best interests of my constituents - to get the Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors in place as soon as possible, as part of the fight against alcohol-related crime and antisocial behaviour.
“We are also heading into cyclone season, a time when our police are typically busier than ever, so it will be good for Katherine to have these additional resources on the ground a few weeks earlier than planned, at the beginning of January instead of the end.
“This is just the first round of Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors to be appointed, with more to be recruited next year,” she said.
Break-ins on commercial businesses in Katherine have doubled in the past year.
According to a recent report from the new police commander, Michael Hebb, police received reports of 95 commercial break-ins to July last year, against 194 in the same period this year.
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