Alice Springs readies for first night without curfew

Permanent accommodation hubs could provide an answer to youth crime in Alice Springs as the end of a three-week curfew raises questions about the outback town's long-term future.

The order was imposed on March 27 when the Northern Territory government declared an emergency following escalating violence.

Children aged under 18 were prohibited entering central Alice Springs between 6pm and 6am.

Red Centre residents are readying for the first night without a curfew in almost three weeks after the restriction ended on Tuesday morning.

Extra police patrols will help allay fears of a return to violence, while government social workers will continue to support families.

Chief Minister Eva Lawler said police reports indicated the measure had a positive impact beyond youth crime, with domestic violence incidents down.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler
Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler says there have been positive results from the curfew.

Despite his initial criticisms, Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson lauded Ms Lawler for her "incredible leadership" in imposing the youth curfew.

"The curfew is one part of it, the extra resources are the other," he told ABC News on Tuesday.

"One of the biggest issues is police spend 80 per cent of their time on domestic violence and ... that is a national shame."

Mr Paterson said creating safe spaces for kids sleeping rough was essential and urged the establishment of a youth foyer.

More than a dozen youth foyers operate across Australia, offering young people at risk of homelessness between the ages of 16 and 24 shelter for up to two years, as well as coaching and mentorship.

"It may not be the silver bullet but it's certainly worth a try because every other jurisdiction has fantastic success rates for it," Mr Paterson said.

NT Chamber of Commerce chief operating officer Nicole Walsh said the curfew had been good for businesses but people were still wary. 

“It has certainly been a stop gap ... we do get some feedback it has pushed crime into other places,” she said. 

“We know we need a lot of medium to long-term solutions but some things the community is clear on - they want a continuation of community policing, to understand the impact of the curfew and Police Auxiliary License Inspectors to stay on the bottle shops.”

Police Minister Brent Potter said 25 licence inspectors would be re-posted to the town after they graduate as constables at the end of June, ensuring liquor stores were fully covered.

The curfew was first imposed after a surge of violence in the town inflamed by the death of an 18-year-old in a car crash in early March.

His death triggered clashes between rival families that culminated in an attack at the Todd Tavern.

Officers made several arrests and seized more than 50 weapons, including spears, axes and clubs.

13YARN 13 92 76

Aboriginal Counselling Services 0410 539 905

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store