NT Police say they have been forced to increase patrols and other resources 24-hours a day after a “significant increase in youth disturbances” in Darwin’s northern suburbs over the last two weeks, that has seen kids returned to their homes in some cases “more than 10 times a night”.
The public statement comes after a video of Karama residents arresting an alleged offender on their own has been making the rounds on social media.
Police said while most of the recent spate of crime and anti-social behaviour has been in retail areas of Karama and Malak – including the recent brutal beating of a wheelchair bound senior in his home – they have also increased patrols “including Casuarina Shopping Centre, service stations in the northern suburbs and local suburban shopping centres”.
In some instances, police said the alleged offenders are taking the bus to different areas.
“NT Police are working closely with other government agencies and stakeholders including the youths’ families to engage with the youths and address the behaviour,” Commander Matt Hollamby said.
“There is a core group of 15-20 youths involved, most are aged 10 to 14. These youths are roaming the streets until the early hours of the morning. A majority of the same youths are moved on or conveyed home, sometimes more than 10 times a night.”
Police said Transit Security has helped provide real time information of youths crowding the bus exchanges and “youths using the bus to go to various locations” which is being monitored.
Strike Force Trident said over the last three weeks 14 youths have been apprehended, three arrested, 11 summons and diversion files submitted and 47 charges laid.