The Northern Territory (abbreviated as NT) is a federal Australian territory covering 520,902 square miles with a total population size of 245,000 (8th largest in Australia).
A brand new report from the NT Police Commissioner indicates an elite unit of the Australian Federal Police called Territory Response Group (TRG) will be using military grade weapons to patrol Alice Springs and Darwin at night.
Commissioner Reece Kershaw confirms TRG’s deployment to the area and said, it’s in response to concerned communities as the youth crime wave spirals out of control.
Timing of the deployment is for the holiday season, as many local officials believe crime will surge.
Police estimate more than 50 percent of property break-ins in NT are from youths as young as 10 to 12-years old. TRG will be using military grade equipment and weapons to monitor people kids “acting suspiciously”.
“We’ve had information around Alice Springs of kids jumping onto roofs of hotels and stealing people’s wallets and all sorts of things. TRG will be there to act as surveillance, and what we call the night-time assessment team”, Mr Kershaw said.
According to ABC Australia,
The announcement came a week to the day since a royal commission delivered its report on youth detention and child protection systems in the Northern Territory. The report published damning findings about police over-arresting and over-charging children and youth.
A recommendation to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years of age has so far been accepted by the NT Government “in principle”. Legal groups have called for an immediate moratorium on child arrests, but so far the Government has not provided a timeframe on when the recommendation would come into effect.
Earlier this year, A Current Affair, an Australian TV media outlet, launched an investigative report called ‘Aboriginal Youth Crime Storm In NT’.
The mind blowing report highlights the out of control crime by youths breaking into commercial and residential properties.
TRG will be providing protection and surveillance to community members in Darwin, the capital of NT, and Alice Springs, a community in the most southern point of the territory through the holiday season.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says the “youth offender rate, as measured per 100,000 persons aged 10–17 years, was highest in the Northern Territory”.. As noted on the chart below, theft is the most popular by youth offenders.
Mr Kershaw did not provide concrete evidence of what started the youth crime wave, but offered to give his opinion on broken families and domestic violence.
We’d rather prevent crime before it occurs, and some of these kids are out on the streets because of things like domestic violence.
We know that because of studies of repeat young offenders and some of their history. We’re going to be working with Territory Families and other agencies and NGOs to answer how do we provide that safe place for these kids to go to, and keep them on the right path.
At the moment, we’re bringing these children and youth before the courts, and nothing has come to me to say we’re breaking the law — we’re here to uphold and maintain social order.
And lastly according to ABC Australia, TRG officers would be approaching children as young as 10 while camouflaged and carrying assault weapons, Mr Kershaw said it was up the response group to determine how they conducted their operation.