The Territory Labor Government has this week announced the most comprehensive plan in Territory history to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Darwin and Palmerston.
The $8.9 million five-point plan is designed to make communities, homes and businesses safer by getting people off the street and onto a better path.
A fundamental part of the plan is a major increase in the number of Larrakia Nation Day Patrols from 1 vehicle to 5 vehicles.
There will now be 10 staff and the Day Patrol will increase from its current hours with 1 vehicle (5am 10am) to 5am 4pm (when the existing Night Patrol starts).
More vehicles means the service will now be able to cover Darwin city, into the Northern Suburbs and Palmerston.
This essential service helps relocate people to their home community (through the Territory Connect program) or to rehabilitation support such as the Sobering Up Shelter.
Two of the new Day Patrol vehicles will commence next week, and two further vehicles will be on the road the week following.
The Territory Labor Government reintroduced a Day Patrol vehicle in December 2017 after the chaotic former CLP Government cut it.
Since then, the single vehicle has had 5413 engagements with people at an average of 17-18 engagements per day.
The Day Patrol has so far:
responded to over 540 calls from the public
transported over 1300 people to safe locations
linked 203 people will Territory Connect (Return to Country)
Connected 374 people with social and health services
As well as the 4 additional Larrakia Nation Day Patrols, the comprehensive ASB plan includes both short and long-term measures to tackle the issue including:
Easier Reporting for Residents and Businesses, with an extensive information campaign and work underway to develop a mobile app and SMS reporting tools (early 2019).
Visible Policing and Safer Public Spaces, including foot patrols, segways, mobile caravans, marked vans and dog patrols. Police are also developing a strategy with industry, service providers and NGOs that will include more CCTV and better lighting.
Sobering Up Shelter extending to 24-hours from 1 November, to support the extended Day Patrol and ensure people who need help with alcohol addiction can access the support they need at any time.
More programs to get more people get back on track, to break the cycle of anti-social behaviour, including innovative service hubs in Darwin city, Northern Suburbs and Palmerston, and more short term accommodation to give people pathways out of sleeping rough.
QUOTES FROM THE CHIEF MINISTER
Territorians have rightly had a gutful of anti-social behaviour and alcohol fuelled crime.
Our 5-Point Plan tackles anti-social behaviour in the short-term and long term, so we can get people off the street and back on the right track.
The extended Day Patrol will make a difference. We are serious about addressing alcohol fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour.
QUOTES FROM ROBERT COOPER, CEO, LARRAKIA NATION
Since the re-introduction of the Day Patrol, weve engaged with around 18 people per day operating one 5 hour patrol, to get them back on track and onto a better path.
With an additional four patrols delivering services for longer hours every day, we can do even more.
We want to make sure that everyone behaves appropriately on Larrakia country.
LARRAKIA DAY PATROL BACKGROUND ON SERVICES
On a typical day, the Day Patrol is likely to:
Attend the Darwin watch house, to provide transport and services to aboriginal people being released, by:
Transporting people to a safe location,
Assisting people with referrals to HEAL program,
Assisting people to access the Territory Connect (Return to Country) program
Attend the Sobering Up Shelter (SUS) in Berrimah to provide transport and services to Aboriginal people, once they have spoken to Centrelink, which offers a mobile office at the SUS each day. This is to help people access the Territory Connect (Return to Country) program.
Take calls from Police and Territory Housing to attend public places or public housing locations and transport Aboriginal people to a safe location
Take calls from shopping centres to attend. At the shopping centres the Day Patrol will: Assess the person to check for injuries, transport to a fixed address (if available) and check with the occupants that the person can stay there, or link the person to HEAL or Return to Country Services.
The Territory Connect (Return to Country) program is continuing to help people return to their communities. Since December 2017 over 2600 people have returned to their communities, in places such as Maningrida, Groote Eylandt and Port Keats, and many other places in the NT.