A violent weekend in Alice Springs that saw two people hospitalized in unprovoked attacks has forced the NT Police to send additional officers to the troubled town that was already in the grips of a crime crisis and the subject of a national television report last week.
Police said in one incident on Saturday night, a 34-year-old man and his pregnant wife were walking to their car when they were surrounded by “a group of offenders”.
The man was then knocked unconscious and had his wallet stolen.
In another incident on the same night, a security guard from a licensed venue was assaulted by a group after attempting to pursue one of them for stealing a patron’s handbag from the venue.
“The 25-year-old man suffered serious facial injuries as a result of the assault,” the NT Police said in a statement.
In a third incident, a man crossing Todd Street around 9 pm was “knocked to the ground” by another man, who police say was responsible for the previous assault of the security guard.
Police said the 21-year-old man is in custody in relation to two of the three incidents.
Police said they are still looking for the unidentified victim of the Todd Street beating and calling for witnesses to contact them.
Assistant Commissioner Narelle Beer said additional officers will be sent to Alice Springs “to assist frontline members in addressing antisocial behaviour”.
“What we saw was calculated intent to cause harm to innocent people who were out enjoying themselves. It is simply cowardly and dangerous behaviour,” said Assistant Commissioner Beer.
“This behaviour is abhorrent and completely unacceptable and we will be addressing it head on.
“Every day I’m proud to say our members, from the front line, General Duties, Crime, Strike Force Viper, Domestic Violence, Drugs and Serious Crime units conduct themselves in the utmost professional manner and work hard to make our community a safer one. They do an outstanding job.”
Police said by next weekend, members from the Northern Command, the Terriotry Mounted Unit, Dog Operations Unit and “new recruits” will provide a stronger police presence in the CBD.
“The community can expect to see a lot more boots on the ground with the intent to break this cycle of antisocial behaviour,” Ms Beer said.