The NT government will immediately review the Territory’s bail laws for offenses involving a weapon, as well as review penalties for people carrying weapons in public following the alleged murder of a 20 year old bottle shop worker on Sunday night.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles released this statement earlier today.
“Enough is enough.”
Our Government, just like every Territorian, is fed up with the violence on our streets and towards our workers.
In addition to the extensive community safety measures in place, I’ve announced an immediate review of Police powers to increase public safety as well as a review of bail laws for people who engage in offences involving a weapon.
We are taking immediate action, as well as introducing a raft of new initiatives to improve community safety and the safety of our workers.
IMMEDIATE REVIEW OF BAIL LAWS AND PENALTIES FOR WEAPON OFFENCES:
Work will immediately commence on reviewing bail laws for offences involving a weapon – including the presumption for and against bail for such offences.
A review of the current penalties for people carrying weapons in public will also be undertaken along with a review of police powers to ensure they are adequate and meet community expectations.
CAPSICUM SPRAY TO BE EXPANDED TO TRANSIT SAFETY OFFICERS, CROWD CONTROLLERS, AND SECURITY GUARDS:
Transit Safety Officers will soon be equipped with Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray canisters to assist with the safety and protection of people using public transport.
We will also immediately commence the process to allow for security and crowd controller licence holders to also have these powers.
This initiative provides workers with another tool to protect themselves and the community, in serious circumstances.
Intensive training in the use of OC spray will be conducted in partnership with defensive tactic professionals, and will be required in accordance with approved standards.
A safeguard mechanism of reportable incidents will also be worked into the framework.
WORK PLACE SAFETY REVIEW:
The Northern Territory Government will undertake an audit of late night retail outlets across the Northern Territory.
This audit will provide advice on how business security can be improved through a range of mechanisms, including crime reduction through environmental design (looking at the layout of businesses to optimise the safety of staff).
We will also review Work Health and Safety Legislation to ensure it’s contemporary and working as intended.
INCREASED POLICE PRESENCE:
Commencing immediately, Northern Territory Police, Fire and emergency Services will continue with high visibility policing patrols, targeting known hotspots to deter and curb unacceptable behavior.
This will continue in Darwin and through Operation Drina in Alice Springs.
FUNDING FOR CROWD CONTROLLERS AT TAKEAWAY OUTLETS:
Government will assist with the funding of security and crowd controllers at take away liquor outlets until the end of June 2023.
IMPROVED SUPPORT AND SAFETY TRAINING FOR RETAIL WORKERS:
Working in partnership with industry, the Northern Territory Government will develop a best practice training guide for retail workers when dealing with confronting situations.
Training will include de-escalation tactics and refresher training for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA).
ALCOHOL SECURE RELAUNCH:
The Northern Territory Governments Alcohol Secure Program provides financial support to licensed premises to increase the physical safety and security of their liquor stock against theft or damage.
These measures, in addition to the extensive community safety measures in place, will operate alongside the Northern Territory’s updated trespass legislation.
Set to be debated in Parliament this week, these changes will make it easier for businesses to issue trespass notices and ban people from entering their premises.
Let me make this very clear – the safety of our community is, and always will be, paramount.
Nothing has changed on that front.
We have, and continue to do, more than any Northern Territory Government to address crime and antisocial behaviour.
We are a government that acts, and today’s measures – along with an increase in high visibility policing – are a continuation of this important work.
NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles 22-03-2023
Opposition leader Lia Finnochiaro said a bail review was not enough,and immediate action is needed instead.
“For years we have been calling to stop the revolving door of bail, sadly it took a loss of life to a violent offender out on bail for Natasha Fyles to listen.”
“The death was avoidable but it cannot be in vain.“Our legislation is written and could be implemented this week by the parliament.
“It is important Natasha Fyles does not pick and choose parts of bail to be reviewed.”