Crime in Alice Springs
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Crime is a significant social issue in Alice Springs. Alice Springs has the highest crime rate of any Australian city, with raw crime numbers higher than Darwin, a city with three times the population and a record of high crime.
In 2009 there were 1432 recorded assaults in Alice Springs, with 65% of assaults involving alcohol. Reported assaults had almost doubled since 2004. The Territory's Southern Region Police Commander, Anne-Marie Murphy said that itinerancy, domestic violence and alcohol were the main factors driving up crime rates.
In the 2009-10 financial year, the Northern Territory Justice Department's Quarterly Crime & Justice Statistics report recorded that there were 1632 reported cases of theft, and 906 reports of property damage in Alice Springs. 774 homes and businesses were broken into during the 2009-10 financial year.
The NT Justice Department's Quarterly Crime & Justice Statistics report documented increases across multiple categories of crime in Alice Springs in the 6 years between the 2004-05 and the 2009-10 reporting periods. Recorded cases of assault rose by 87%, sexual assault offences rose by 97%, and house break-ins increased by 64%.
Between 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, crime rose significantly in Alice Springs. Assaults increased 15.4%, sexual assaults skyrocketed 36.2%, commercial break-ins rose 18.3%, motor vehicle theft 28.1% and property damage 12.3%
Response to crime
In 2008, the Alice Springs town council began to hire private security guards to patrol the town, at a cost of $5000 per week. The Northern Territory government has been accused of underfunding social services for Aboriginal people in Alice Springs, as part of a wider problem of underfunding across central Australia. Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan has indicated that crime has increased as more people migrated into the city from remote communities.
Some long-time residents of Alice Springs have moved away as a direct result of crime concerns. Local businesses have spent increased amounts to upgrade the physical security of their premises from property crime, including the use of high security fences, razor wire and security cameras.
- Crime in the Northern Territory
- Alice Springs Correctional Centre
- Alice Springs Juvenile Holding Centre
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