Crime in Alice Springs

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Crime is a significant social issue in Alice Springs.[1][2][3][4]


In 2009 there were 1432 recorded assaults in Alice Springs,[3] with 65% of assaults involving alcohol.[3][5] Reported assaults had almost doubled since 2004.[3] 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.[3]

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.[6][7] 774 homes and businesses were broken into during the 2009-10 financial year.[6][7]

Crime increase[edit]

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.[7] Recorded cases of assault rose by 87%,[7] sexual assault offences rose by 97%,[7] and house break-ins increased by 64%.[7]

Break-ins to commercial premises rose by 185%,[7] and 'motor vehicle theft and related offences' increased by 97%[7] on 2004-05 figures.[7]

2015 saw national concern focused on youth crime in Alice Springs, including incidents in which rocks were thrown at police.[8][9]

Response to crime[edit]

In 2008, the Alice Springs town council began to hire private security guards to patrol the town, at a cost of $5000 per week.[4] The Northern Territory government has been accused of underfunding social services for Aboriginal people in Alice Springs,[4] as part of a wider problem of underfunding across central Australia.[4] Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan has indicated that crime has increased as more people migrated into the city from remote communities.[10]

Some long-time residents of Alice Springs have moved away as a direct result of crime concerns.[1] Local businesses have spent increased amounts to upgrade the physical security of their premises from property crime,[10][6] including the use of high security fences, razor wire and security cameras.[10][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rothwell, Nicolas (2011-02-19). "Violence in Alice spirals out of control". The Australian. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  2. ^ Rothwell, Nicolas (2011-02-08). "Destroyed in Alice". The Australian. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Tlozek, Eric (2010-03-31). "Alice crime rates reach unprecedented levels". ABC Online. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d Robinson, Natasha (2008-12-22). "Down like Alice the meltdown of a tourism mecca". The Australian. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  5. ^ Chlanda, Erwin (2012-01-31). "Alcohol by far enemy number one in crime fight". Alice Springs News Online. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  6. ^ a b c d Hainke, Nadja (2011-02-19). "Alice crime tsunami building tension". Northern Territory News. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  8. ^ Davidson, Helen (17 April 2015). "'Nothing is off the table' in NT taskforce to tackle rising youth crime". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Rocks thrown at police, windows broken and vehicles damaged during wild night in Alice Springs". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c Schliebs, Mark (2011-02-21). "Besieged Alice Springs businesses resort to razor wire". The Australian. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 

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