Alice takes the NT lead for violent drunks but at least there are fewer of them than last year

Recorded assaults in Alice Springs are down 13.2% for the period July to September this year, relative to the same period last year.

This is better than the NT wide figure (down 9.1%) but not as good as the decreases achieved in the Top End. In Darwin the assaults dropped by 15.9%; Palmerston, 16.5%; Katherine, 19.2%.

Alice’s drop is off a very high base relative to these centres. There were 401 recorded assaults in Alice for the period last year, scarcely lower than the total for Darwin (414), a city with three times the population.

This year Darwin experienced 348 in the period, and Alice, exactly the same number.

The NT Government, releasing the preliminary data today, is linking the decreases to the introduction of the Banned Drinkers Register.

Looking at the regional breakdown of people on the register, Alice Springs towers above the rest, with a total of 208 on the register at the end of September, compared to 98 in Darwin; 63 in Palmerston; Katherine, 73.

The decreases in alcohol-related assaults are generally higher than the decreases overall: Alice Springs, 17.5%, Darwin, 20.6%, Palmerston, 23.5%. Katherine is the exception, with the decrease being lower for alcohol-related assaults: 15.8%.

Tennant Creek’s overall decrease was only 5.8%, but its alcohol-related decrease was significantly higher: 19.5%.

Nhulunbuy experienced an increase (8.7%) in assaults (alcohol-related, 5.6%). – Kieran Finnane

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