Crimes in Alice Springs mean residents and businesses ‘no longer feel safe’

The mayor of Alice Springs is calling for an immediate circuit breaker for the ongoing crime crisis in the central Australian city, saying residents no longer feel safe in their homes and their mental health is suffering.

Mayor Matt Paterson says the city has had “enough” after another night of stolen vehicles and subsequent ram raids at local Alice Springs businesses.

“Entrepreneurs no longer accept it. People no longer feel safe in their own home.”

Matt Paterson says residents and businesses no longer feel safe.ABC News: Dylan Anderson

Last night the Macdonnell Regional Council vehicle complex was broken into and four vehicles were stolen, leaving its director, Jeff MacLeod, frustrated and angry.

“It’s pretty exhausting. Very discouraging,” he said.

Northern Territory police said two businesses in Alice Springs were raided overnight with one of the stolen vehicles.

A gas station in Sadadeen and a motorcycle shop on Stuart Highway were badly damaged.

A police spokesperson said an 18-year-old woman turned to police in connection with the incidents and was charged with misuse of a motor vehicle, two counts of property damage, two counts of unlawful entry and recruiting a child to commit criminal activity. to develop.

Two 14-year-old boys were also arrested and will be treated under the Youth Act.

Four cars stolen

MacLeod said four cars were stolen from the council’s vehicle storage area overnight after the intruders broke in through the back door.

The damage outside a local business on the Stuart Highway in the north
A local business on Stuart Highway to the north was rammed into.Supplied: Jetcor Alice Springs

“I got a call at 1am,” MacLeod said.

He said two vehicles were damaged, including a Ford Ranger used to ram into the gates.

The vehicles were fitted with tracking systems and subsequently located.

Mr MacLeod said it was too early to estimate the cost of the thefts and damage.

“It will be a significant amount,” he said.

Mr MacLeod said the incidents could affect the provision of some services to the region’s 13 remote communities and the municipality is cooperating with police.

“We have CCTV footage of the perpetrators,” he said.

‘Enough is enough’

Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson said the city’s business owners and residents were fed up with the situation and that the city’s crime rate was impacting. people’s mental health.

Twisted door frame and hanging hinges with a glimpse of blue motorcycles in the background
Damage at a Stuart highway motorcycle shop.Supplied: Jetcor Alice Springs

“It’s very hard for people to feel safe here,” he said.

Mr. Paterson questioned the effectiveness of current youth bail laws.

“You read in stories that these kids are constantly breaking the law, and they’re being released on bail all the time,” he said.

“We have to … [look] do this wisely and come up with sensible options, because it is not okay to release someone who has committed 100 crimes on bail.”

Mr Paterson said he would continue to advocate for both levels of government as mayor, with Liberal and Labor pledging $14 million to tackle crime in Alice Springs.

“The only positive thing from the federal government and the opposition making commitments is that they now clearly know there is a problem here,” he said.

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