NT Labor defends crime rate despite spree
A series of unprovoked assaults by underage youths around a popular Darwin foreshore area that resulted in two men being hospitalised has shocked onlookers.
The Nightcliff foreshore is a popular recreational area where locals often go to watch the sunset.
Two men aged 55 and 40 were badly beaten at Nightcliff during an attempted robbery and assault there on Tuesday night.
However the Northern Territory's Police Minister Nicole Manison insisted offending had gone down and there was no crime crisis, as Deputy Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said this week.
One man was walking towards a cafe when he was approached by a group of youths who demanded his phone and wallet before punching and kicking him to the ground.
A cafe staff member went to his aid and was punched on the side of the head.
The offenders were likely involved in two other separate assaults nearby, including three walkers who were set upon and punched at the foreshore and an assault on a man at a nearby KFC restaurant.
Three male youths, two 13-year-olds and a 15-year-old have been arrested and are in custody but more arrests might be made, acting Superintendent Rob Jordan said.
"I haven't seen this sort of (unprovoked) attack for some time, I believe there had been a social event in Nightcliff earlier on that night where a lot of youths have congregated and as they've dispersed they've caused a bit of havoc," he told reporters.
Ms Finocchiaro spoke after a separate crime spree across greater Darwin on Monday night, in which six youths stole two cars, crashing one, leading police on a chase and breaking into and damaging numerous businesses before they were arrested.
Ms Manison rejected the Country Liberals' Ms Finocchiaro's suggestion Territorians were at "breaking point" and the Labor Government was failing in stopping youth offending.
"No, I look at crime stats very closely with police very month and what I see is that we we have got 10-year lows in assaults across the Northern Territory," Ms Manison told reporters.
"So that is preventing violent crime, domestic violence, injuries and trauma and we are seeing great results when it comes to our emergency departments with less alcohol-related admissions going in and less harm.
NT Police statistics show overall crime, including assaults, down from last year but house break-ins are up 17 per cent in the year to August.
The rise in Alice Springs is more than 62 per cent.
Ms Manison said the number of CCTV cameras had increased from 200 to 600 and the number of police by 120 since Labor's election win in 2016.
© AAP 2019