Don't 'lock down' Alice Springs, 'lock up' violent young offenders

A fresh wave of violence has reignited tensions in Alice Springs leading to the reintroduction of a curfew and sparking calls for the Indigenous Minister's resignation.

Don't 'lock down' Alice Springs, 'lock up' violent young offenders
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Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney is under mounting pressure to resign after her prolonged silence on the recent crisis in Alice Springs, prompting the Northern Territory government to reinstate a curfew.

Northern Territory Police Commissioner Michael Murphy instituted a three-night curfew in Alice Springs following a violent incident early Sunday morning.

A group of 20 males, some of whom were youths, allegedly assaulted four off-duty police officers, robbing two of them before fleeing.

This incident, part of a "horror 72 hours" of violence and antisocial behaviour, led Commissioner Murphy to enforce the curfew. Despite repeated requests from the media, Ms Burney has yet to comment on the violence affecting the predominantly Indigenous town.

Warren Mundine, an Indigenous advocate, has called for Ms Burney's resignation due to her inaction. “Unfortunately, she's just not up for it,” Mundine told said. He criticised the curfew as another “band-aid solution” that fails to address the root causes of Alice Springs' recurrent issues.

“We need leadership from the federal government and better leadership from the states and territories,” Mundine asserted. “They've been a dismal failure over the years. These overnight curfews are just a band-aid approach.”

Mundine emphasised the need for law and order in Alice Springs, noting the police's struggle to enforce laws in the remote town. He echoed the sentiments of a father and husband of two officers involved in the alleged attack, who called for the government to stop hindering law enforcement efforts.

Commissioner Murphy confirmed the curfew on Monday, stating it would be in effect from 10pm to 6am for three nights. The curfew area includes ANZAC Hill, Schwartz Crescent, the hospital vicinity, Stuart Highway, Leichhardt, and Stott Terrace.

Murphy noted the importance of community support during NAIDOC week and other events, stressing that lasting solutions lie in community leadership rather than the criminal justice system. Failure to comply with the curfew could result in fines or immediate arrest, though exceptions exist for specific circumstances.

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