- Alice Springs has been in the spotlight amid crimewave
- Claims police are removing ‘kids from the streets’ for VIPs
Alice Springs police and council rangers have been accused of clearing disruptive kids and drunks from the streets ahead of VIP guests arriving as an out-of-control crime wave grips the city.
Crime and lawlessness in the iconic Outback city entered the national spotlight last month amid reports up to 200 children are roaming the streets at night, breaking into homes, businesses and cars.
Local business owners, journalists and politicians say they witnessed police and council rangers usher wayward children off the streets before Anthony Albanese‘s arrival and a visit from Northern Territory police commissioner Jamie Chalker.
‘As always, these visits are highly rehearsed and choreographed.’
‘The streets are cleaned out routinely, all the kids were taken away. And it looked much better than what it normally did,’ Independent member for Araluen, Robyn Lambley, told The Daily Telegraph.
The police commissioner has arrived in town, so the streets will once again be cleaned up for him.’
Ms Lambley said the practice of ‘sanitising the place for the benefit of a few dignitaries’ was offensive to locals who have to deal with crime everyday and are sick of having their homes and businesses broken into.
‘They are deeply offended that it can happen, for a short period of time, like a day or a few hours, but on an average day, that’s not the way life is in Alice Springs.’
Journalists from the Daily Telegraph say they witnessed a van from Tangentyere Council rounding up people from the streets into buses on the night Mr Chalker was expected to visit.
A pair of men wearing council shirts ushered people into buses, and police were also out telling young children to go home, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The nights before Mr Chalker’s visit, journalists from the publication said they did not witness the council or police trying to take children home.
A spokesperson for the NT Government said that reports of ‘cleaning’ the streets before the arrival of dignitaries were not true.
‘Territory Families, Housing and Communities run patrols every day until 3am to find young people safe places to sleep.
‘The Government has partnered with Salt Bush to also provide a safe sleeping option for young people too,’ they said.