Big grog assaults spike before tot’s alleged rape

KIDS in Tennant Creek are committing crimes hoping they will be put in detention where they know they will be safe and fed, according to one of the town's youth diversion workers.

The startling claim was outlined in a document signed by Licensing Director-General Cindy Bravos justifying her decision to put the town under seven day emergency alcohol restriction measures.


In the document, Ms Bravos wrote police had told her they "regularly see children on the streets late at night". Those kids told police they "do not want to go home due to the drinking and violence" they would find there.

Police also relayed to Ms Bravos "graphic details" of a spate of alcohol related incidents in the town "involving men, women and children having received significant injuries inflicted by weapons such as metal poles, knives and rum bottles". Those assaults included some inflicted on both on- and off-duty police officers.

The document, seen by the NT News, was sent to licensees last week after Ms Bravos implemented a raft of restrictions on takeaway alcohol sales in the wake of the alleged rape of a two-year-old girl.

Those restrictions expire tomorrow. Ms Bravos is expected to assess the outcome and consider long-term restrictions should they prove effective.

The alleged rape was just one of a spate of violent incidents in Tennant Creek which left the town on edge. A man died after he was beaten at the same home where the alleged rape took place.

Police data referred to by Ms Bravos shows the number of booze-fuelled aggravated assaults in Tennant Creek increased 250 per cent in a three-week period to February 21.

The number of breaches of domestic violence orders involving alcohol increased 200 per cent on the same period the previous year, and cops were called out to 38 per cent more domestic violence incidents.

There was also an 111 per cent increase in the number of drink driving offences in Tennant Creek. But the town's licensees say the statistics don't tell the whole story - that three week period also coincided with the first time in several years police weren't permanently stationed outside bottleshops in Tennant Creek. The withdrawal of police from bottleshops on several of the days in that period made the comparisons between 2017 and 2018 "irrelevant and incorrect", a response from the licensees said.

Ms Bravos referred to unpublished wholesale alcohol data that showed the supply of wine in Tennant Creek increased five per cent between 2015 and 2016 and spirits increased nine per cent.

But the Tennant Creek publicans said the takeaway sales had dropped by up to 20 per cent in recent months.