Gaps in bottlo policing blamed for rise in assaults

p2310-police-pic-1p2310-police-pic-3An increase in the number of assaults in Alice Springs in 2015 is most likely due to the inability of police to cover bottle shops during all opening hours, checking potential customers’ ID, according to the People’s Alcohol Action Committee (PAAC).

 

Meanwhile police say they are interested to speak with two men (pictured) about an alleged sexual assault on Barrett Drive , Alice Springs early Saturday between 4.30am and 6.30am.

 

One of the men is described as being light-skinned, of Indigenous appearance with short hair, a solid build and about 165cm tall, believed to be in his mid-twenties.

 

The other man is also described as light-skinned of Indigenous appearance with short curly hair, a skinny build and about 170cm tall. He is believed to be aged in his early twenties.

 

PAAC spokesman John Boffa says there should be an immediate evaluation of the Temporary Beat Location (TBL) scheme, also called Point of Sale Intervention (POSI), and he calls for an alternative ID scanning system, as recommended in the Alice Springs Draft Alcohol Management Plan.

 

Says Dr Boffa: “As predicted, it appears that the periodic absence of police from Alice Springs bottle shops is starting to be reflected in the crime data.”

 

He says police crime statistics published in late January compare the 12 months to the end of November 2014 with the corresponding period in 2015.

 

Assaults overall increased by 11.9%; domestic violence-related related assaults by 11.1%; alcohol-related assault increased by 6%; crime against the person overall increased by 13%.

 

The Alice Springs News Online understands that mobile phone chatter quickly identifies any liquor outlet without a police presence.

 

Says Dr Boffa: “Katherine and Tennant Creek, where police also conduct TBLs or POSIs, continued to see very significant reductions. The small number of take-away outlets in those towns makes it easier for police to ensure 100% coverage every day.

 

“Without this the policy does not work as well.”

 

Dr Boffa says Police Minister Peter Chandler wrote to PAAC in late January pointing out the “long term downward trends” in violent crime in Alice Springs.

 

“Perhaps he hadn’t seen the data released earlier that month.”

 

 

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