Private security guards will be trialed on the streets of Darwin’s northern suburbs and in Palmerston to help with “anti-social behaviour”, while police and Territory Families, Housing and Communities teams will soon be housed together across the Territory, under changes announced by Chief Minister Natasha Fyles on Tuesday.
Ms Fyles said there would also be more money for businesses to increase their security, and the government would pick up a greater percentage of the cost.
She said the Public Order Response Unit, composed of private security patrols, had been trialed in Darwin’s CBD and inner suburbs. She did not say whether the northern suburbs and Palmerston trial had started, or when it would begin, how long the trial was for, how much it would cost, or what powers the security guards had.
She did not say how many security guards there would be, or exactly how they would work with police, but said they would work collaboratively with Larrakia Nation, council rangers, transit security officers and other frontline service providers, and would “engage with local businesses and respond to issues”.
“The PORU will not be replacing police response but will serve as a component to build engagement and collaboration with the community while addressing anti-social behaviour issues within a community,” she said.
She also announced the Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield Interagency Tasking Coordination Group, cross-agency collaboration, for a strategic response aimed at reducing the contributing factors of anti-social behaviour across the region.
She said police and Territory Families, Housing and Communities teams will soon be sharing offices across the Territory and police officers and youth Engagement officers would work together to address crime, anti-social behaviour and juvenile disturbances.
And there would be a Secondary Supply Reference Group for dealing with alcohol abuse, which have police, Territory Families, Housing and Communities and NT Health representatives.
“This group will work with local governments and peak bodies to develop strategies around alcohol harm minimisation,” she said.
There was no other details of the proposed work of the coordination group.
Ms Fyles said CCTV had also been installed in Jingili as part of program to upgrade and expand the CCTV network.
The chief minister also announced changes to the Biz Secure program, raising to $15,000 the amount individual Territory businesses can access to make a range of permanent security improvements to their premises, and raising the amount the government contributed from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.
“The Territory Government has also added a list of pre-approved standard improvements that can be funded without the need for a security audit, which will enable businesses to carry out physical security improvement jobs more quickly,” she said.