A group of allegedly intoxicated residents of an Alice Springs town camp, who police say are vulnerable to contracting coronavirus by not properly distancing, turned on police early Wednesday morning, throwing rocks and “causing damage”, NT Police say.
A police spokesman said in a statement that the “large group of intoxicated people surrounded and threatened police” at Hidden Valley town camp around 12:30 am before back-up was called.
It was then police say rocks were thrown and damage caused.
“The whole incident is really disappointing,” said Commander Bradley Currie. “Police officers are there to keep people safe, and have been working tirelessly with other agencies to protect vulnerable people in our community as part of the COVID-19 response.
“It is unacceptable that groups continue to defy physical distancing directions and take up valuable police resources by consuming liquor in restricted areas, causing disturbances, threatening police and damaging property.”
Police said they are continuing to investigate to identify members of the group.
“Unfortunately, what is very clear is that those involved last night are some of our most vulnerable,” Cdr Currie said. “It is concerning that people are continuing to ignore guidelines, and if this ignorance continues the risk will continue to rise as we navigate our way through the prevention and response to COVID-19.
He called for “leadership within our community” to stop incidents like this. Late last month, a similar incident of 150 Indigenous juveniles throwing rocks at emergency staff was reported in Alice Springs. At the time, Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker also called for community leaders to take charge and inform the communities about the real threat posed by COVID-19.