Property crime in Katherine has reduced by 20 per cent over the past few weeks, according to Katherine’s new Police Commander.
But the businesses hit by thieves in the town-wide break-in spree over the past two months might see it differently.
More than 30 locations from schools, workshops, medical clinics, grocery stores and community groups have been the target of petty crime.
Most recently, an elderly man was assaulted in his own home in the early hours of the morning.
Residents have told the Katherine Times they are living in fear.
Katherine’s new Police Commander, Michael Hebb, has come in to his role with a heavy hand on the town.
Weeks after he was handed the top job he closed the Katherine Hotel for 48 hours, after it had allegedly breached liquor licence requirements.
We know that if we target the supply of alcohol we can have an impact on alcohol related harm- Police Commander, Michael Hebb
Nine new recruits have arrived providing greater flexibility to attend to arising issues in the community.
“We have heightened our focus on alcohol policing strategies,” Commander Hebb said.
“People would have noticed the heightened presence of police in bottle shops.
“Police Auxiliaries start in January which will provide greater flexibility in policing alcohol outlets.
“The feedback I have received is that people have noticed social order issues have benefited from this heightened focus.
“We know that if we target the supply of alcohol we can have an impact on alcohol related harm,” he said.
The commander said Katherine Police are still investigating the serious assault which left an elderly man bashed in the head multiple times with a stick.
“The investigation is being actively pursued by police,” Commander Hebb said.
The Commander said while a reward for the attacker is something to be considered it was not a priority of the investigation at this point.
“Rewards are considered on a case by case basis in consultation with the government,” Commander Hebb said.
“I have had feedback from people in the community that issues are being reduced and bolstered by recent police increases,” he said.
Anybody with information about the recent assault is requested to contact police on 131444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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