Community night patrols in the Northern Territory : toward an improved performance and reporting framework


This Technical and Background Paper summarises the results of a Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department’s funded project. The project aimed to clarify the contribution of the community night patrol program in the Northern Territory (NT) to improving the community safety of Indigenous communities. The paper recommends an improved framework for monitoring performance and reporting. Community night patrols or similar services operate in many other areas of Australia and internationally. The paper concludes that the core business of community night patrols is (non-crisis) crime prevention not defacto policing. It also concludes that an unrecognised outcome of patrols is capturing and sharing local knowledge about community safety issues and solutions. Over time, community night patrols should focus on working with other services to reduce the need for repeat assistance to persons at risk and for risky incidents. The recently released Northern Territory Emergency Response Evaluation Report (2011) confirmed that communities and service providers surveyed largely support night patrols, but better data is required to more comprehensively assess their performance.

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© Australian Institute of Criminology 2011 ISSN 1836-2052 ISBN 978 1 921532 91 7 Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), no part of this publication may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission. Inquiries should be addressed to the publisher. Published by the Australian Institute of Criminology GPO Box 2944 Canberra ACT 2601 Tel: (02) 6260 9200 Fax: (02) 6260 9299 Email: Website: Please note: minor revisions are occasionally made to publications after release. The online versions available on the AIC website will always include any revisions. Disclaimer: This research report does not necessarily re?ect the policy position of the Australian Government. Edited and typeset by the Australian Institute of Criminology