Breaking the Cycle of Youth Crime - Alice Springs

The Northern Territory Government has implemented the Breaking the Cycle plan to tackle youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Alice Springs.

Download the Alice Springs Breaking the Cycle fact sheet PDF (192.2 KB).

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Breaking the Cycle includes 7 initiatives to target at-risk young people to get them onto a better path and away from a lifetime of crime.

This is what the Territory Government has implemented:

  • Appointment of 7 additional Youth Outreach Officers to provide a new night service. Youth Outreach and Re-engagement Officers (YOREOs) engage with young people identified as being regularly involved in crime. They have expanded their service to include seven days a week from 8pm to 3am. YOREOs are specialist professional youth workers assigned to provide intensive support to young people up to the age of 17 who are unsupervised in public places in Alice Springs. They make dedicated referrals for ongoing support, programs and services to government and non-government youth services according to the needs of the young person. YOREOs work closely with NT Police, Territory Families Youth Outreach and Re-Engagement Team (YORET) and non-government youth services to ensure the safety of and ongoing support for young people.
  • Expansion of the youth drop-in centres at Gap Youth and Community Centre and Tangentyere Council Brown Street are now operating seven nights a week, and have extended their bus service.
  • Expansion of the hours of the Tangentyere Night Patrol to get young people off the streets. Patrols now run 7 nights a week from 6pm to 3am.
  • Creation of an Aboriginal Youth Outreach Service. The Aboriginal Youth Outreach Service Looking After The Kids (LATK) builds community cohesion and resilience by supporting cultural activities and events. In addition a team of senior, respected Aboriginal outreach workers provide advice and support to youth engagement officers and mentor young Aboriginal people, drawing on the cultural authority of the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group and Tangentyere Council Men’s Four Corners Group.
  • Allocation of 2 school engagement officers to work with young people who have been identified as being disengaged from schooling. These officers have been appointed.
  • Place more mobile CCTV cameras in antisocial behaviour hotspots. Mobile CCTV cameras allow police to rapidly deploy an overt surveillance capability that can be monitored live to assist in detecting incidents and identifying and prosecuting offenders.

The Mparntwe/Alice Springs Youth Action Plan 2019-2021 (Youth Action Plan) was launched in October 2019.

It is a key component of the Regional Youth Services Framework established by the Northern Territory Government in April 2018.

The Youth Action Plan was developed in collaboration with key community partners, including young people, and outlines the goals and priorities for the community over 2 years.

The Youth Action Plan is focused on Mparntwe/Alice Springs and surrounding town camps, however, there will be a broader regional approach to planning and investment in services.

The goals of the Youth Action Plan are:

  • build capacity of existing youth services to enable long-term sustainable change
  • improve outcomes for young people in the Youth Justice system
  • better support for remote communities
  • support the development and implementation of mentoring programs for Aboriginal young people
  • improve education, training, development and employment outcomes for disengaged youth
  • develop integrated programs for young people who are out late at night
  • encourage the development of housing options that are flexible and responsive to the needs of young people.

The plan is currently being reviewed and is due for completion by April 2022. The next 5 year iteration of the plan will be developed by the Alice Springs Local Action Group subsequent to the completion of the review.

Read the plan on the Territory Families, Housing and Communities website.

A range of cross agency efforts to tackle youth crime in Alice Springs has also been introduced, including:

  • Operation Lunar co-locates personnel from the departments of Territory Families, Housing and Communities (TFHC); Health; Education (DoE); and NT Police, improving collaboration and case management for high risk young people.
  • School-based policing, with a more flexible approach than the previous school policing program, to provide more flexibility to target at risk young people. The program focuses on positive youth engagement and delivery of vital safety education.
  • $2.425 million each year for youth activities in Alice Springs for after hours and during school holidays.
  • Tangentyere Council is trialling TFHC's funded Youth Hubs in a number of Town Camps over the next 7 months to encourage young people to engage in activities at home and away from the CBD.
  • The $5 million Back on Track program is an alternative and intensive youth intervention program that provides alternative pathways to divert young people away from the youth justice system. The program addresses at risk behaviour, consequences and reparation to reduce offending, ensure offenders face the impact of their actions and become productive members of our community.
  • Funding for 10 non-government organisations to provide youth diversion services across 48 locations throughout the Territory, including restorative justice conferences where the young offender and the victim are present.
  • Government-funded nightly security patrols conducted by Talice Security throughout the Alice Springs CBD.
  • The $20 million revitalisation of the CBD includes a $5 million Crime Prevention through Environmental Design suite of initiatives, including the construction of safety zones, and improved lighting and wayfinding.

Northern Territory Police

Northern Territory Police promotes community safety by addressing issues relating to criminal activity and other anti-social behaviour.

The Community Youth Engagement Team build rapport with young people to prevent and address criminal and anti-social behaviour.

Hours of operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Phone: non-emergency - 131 444 and emergency - 000

Alice Springs CBD night services

There are a number of services operating in the Alice Springs CBD every night of the week to ensure community safety, each providing a specific function servicing the community.

Looking after the kids program, Tangentyere Aboriginal Council

Looking after the kids program aims to engage and connect with young people on the streets late at night, who are not engaging in anti-social behaviour, but may benefit from direction and advice regarding positive activities and outreach services available.

The program is run by Aboriginal staff who have the skills and experience to negotiate and influence young people, diverting them from anti-social behaviour and offending.

Hours of operation: Thursday to Saturday 6:30pm to 3am
Phone: 1800 133 110

Youth Night Patrol and Night Patrol, Tangentyere Aboriginal Council

The patrol service aims to get people off the streets who are at risk of engaging in anti-social behaviour or offending.

The patrol is dedicated to transporting young people from Anzac Oval to structured organised activities in the community or to a safe place.

Hours of operation: 7 days per week 7pm to 3am
Phone: 1800 133 110

Talice Security Service

Talice Security Service patrols the Alice Springs CBD to deter anti-social behaviour and offending from occurring and reports any adverse activity to the Northern Territory Police.

Hours of operation: 7 days per week 10pm to 5am
Phone: 8955 5888

Youth Outreach and Re-engagement Team, Territory Families

The youth outreach and re-engagement team (YORET) provides support to young people within the Alice Springs CBD, who are not participating in anti-social behaviour but may benefit from some direction.

The team aims to divert young people from partaking in anti-social behaviour and offending by supporting them and connecting to active outreach services in the CBD.

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday 6am to 3am,  Saturday to Sunday 4:30pm to 3am
Phone: 0438 978 841


Last updated: 04 December 2019

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