Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, has called on the Gunner Labor Government to urgently reverse a decision to scrap the highly successful policy of basing police officers outside Territory bottle shops.
Senator Scullion said the Point of Sale Intervention policy – formerly known as the Temporary Beat Locations policy – that based police officers outside liquor outlets had a proven track record of reducing violent crime in regional centres of the Territory.
“As part of a broader range of policing initiatives, basing police outside bottle shops in the major regional centres of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine has been highly successful at reducing takeaway alcohol sales and associated alcohol-related crime and injuries,” Senator Scullion said.
“I am highly concerned about reported comments from the Police Commissioner, Reece Kershaw, that the policy has been scrapped.
“Chief Minister Gunner acknowledged in a letter to me in March this year that the Point of Sale Intervention policy was introduced to complement and support the operation of the Banned Drinkers Register.
“If the Gunner Government is intent on reinstating the Banned Drinkers Register, there is no reason why it can’t do this while retaining the successful Point of Sale Intervention policy.
“If it’s a matter of resourcing, the Gunner Government needs to provide police with the resources to continue the initiative.
“Decisions about NT policing should be made in the best interests of the taxpayers who fund the services. Given crime levels in Alice Springs have risen under the Gunner Government’s watch, it is surprising Minister Fyles is cutting resources rather than boosting them.
“Just like the Gunner Government’s backflip on cutting the opening hours of the Alice Springs police station, I would welcome a reverse on this policy change.”