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City of Darwin Working To Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour

Media Release
07 November 2018

City of Darwin is very well aware of the issues of anti-social behaviour in and around Darwin’s CBD and Council has a number of programs in place to help tackle this problem in our community and the Lord Mayor in the past year has been a strong advocate for a comprehensive solution to the problem.

As well as working collaboratively with the Northern Territory Government and other agencies, Council has a number of dedicated teams providing support on the ground to address anti-social behaviour.

Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said it’s not just about enforcing bylaws and issuing infringements, Council staff are also involved in encouraging behavioural change to tackle problems.

“Council’s Darwin Safer City Program has been in place since 2014 and without the assistance of the teams on the ground dealing with these issues on a daily basis the situation would be considerably worse.

“It is well recognised that no single entity is responsible for dealing with anti-social behaviour. The issues are complex and varied, so working together, in partnership is vital.

“There are no quick fixes or magic solutions. It’s about sharing the responsibility across all spheres of government, industry, business and not for profit agencies,” said the Lord Mayor.

Council spends over $1 million per year assisting to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The Darwin Safer City program has three dedicated staff including two who are part of the Assertive Outreach Team. The team has engaged with over 33,000 people sleeping rough in the City since the inception of the program in 2014.

Council also has two teams of Public Places Rangers consisting of two people per team focussed on handling anti-social behaviour in our public places. Part of their role is to enforce bylaws with a focus on changing behaviour. The Public Places program has had direct engagement with over 3,500 individuals for a wide range of anti-social issues in the Darwin municipality from 2017-2018.

Also, as part of the Darwin Safer City Program, the Public Places Services Collaboration Group was established. The group provides a multi-agency response to anti-social behavior. It meets on a monthly basis and consists of representatives from City of Darwin, NT Police, various NTG departments and agencies, Licensing NT, Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, Australian Hoteliers Association and Larrakia Nation.

“When it comes to enforcing laws surrounding anti-social behaviour, Council’s powers are very much limited. Our Darwin Safer City Team works very closely with NT Police on a daily basis around these issues,” said the Lord Mayor.

“However this year City of Darwin  has issued 21 infringements for breach of Council by-laws with the latest one just 2 weeks ago.”

“As well as anti-social behaviour programs, Council is committed to investing in the CBD in various ways such as the $500,000 CBD Revitalisation program delivered last year, Switching on Darwin and the Darwin City Deal.

“City of Darwin also operationally funds DCWRA and Top End Tourism, who are recognised as an integral part of CBD vibrancy.”

The CBD Levy Working Group has not engaged with City of Darwin but Council is happy to meet with the group to discuss any issues or concerns they may have.

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