A baker living in an outback town overrun with violence has unleashed at the ‘disgraceful’ lack of action on the issue by Anthony Albanese’s government.
Darren Clarke’s bakery in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory has been broken into 41 times in just three years.
The town has recently descended into chaos with gangs of youths roaming the streets at night, breaking into businesses and engaging in extreme violence.
The Prime Minister flew to Alice Springs on Tuesday amid mounting pressure to visit the town and address its crime problem that locals say is now ‘out of control’.
Mr Clarke, who runs the Facebook page Action For Alice 2020, took aim at NT Police Minister Kate Worden, and called for her to resign.
Darren Clarke’s bakery in Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory, has been broken into 41 times over three years
‘Anthony Albanese when he gets off the plane, the first thing he should say to (NT Chief Minister) Natasha Fyles is ”Kate Worden, go”,’ he said in a fiery interview with Sky News on Tuesday.
‘She has to go and she has to go today.’
Crime levels in the Outback town have escalated since the government lifted bans on alcohol in July.
Problems were ‘immediate’, police said, when the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act ceased on July 17, 2022, meaning alcohol was available for the first time in many of the Territory’s Indigenous settlements since 2007.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (above) is visiting Alice Springs for the first time since he was elected following mounting pressure to address the town’s major crime problem
Local business owner Mr Clarke called on NT Police Minister and Minister for Families Kate Worden (pictured) to resign
‘I’ve been broken into 41 times,’ Mr Clarke said, adding many other locals had experienced the same.
‘This place is totally out of control, the violence on the streets is out of control, the domestic violence you see out on the streets every night and through the day is out of control and something needs to be done.’
Youths have terrorised the town’s residents by lingering around the CBD at night, while many have taken to breaking into residents’ homes.
Mr Clarke said the vandalism was often just ‘senseless violence’, but added some youths were breaking into homes and businesses for alcohol and to steal car keys.
‘They’re going in with sharp-edged weapons, they’re going in with machetes, tomahawks, hunting knives,’ he said.
‘Something has to give and something has to give immediately.’
Alice Springs has faced a wave of youth crime in recent years (pictured, a young man attempting to break into Alice Spring’s Todd Tavern)
WHY THE KIDS ARE RUNNING WILD
Darren Clarke, who started the campaign to spotlight the violence in Alice Springs, earlier told Daily Mail Australia that Indigenous kids were coming into town and committing crimes and acts of violence to get away from alcohol-fuelled violence at home.
‘These kids are not in safe, there’s alcohol being drunk in the town camps, there’s blood on the walls at home, kids see people being hurt and the kids are being raped and abused.
‘You have to save the kids but no-one will speak out about it because everyone is scared about the Stolen Generation.
‘That’s what’s inhibiting kids being put into a safe spot.
‘I’m a white person, but people like (Federal Alice Springs MP) Marion Scrymgour is calling out the NT Government at the moment, that’s very brave.’
Mr Clarke was referring to the lapse of the government’s previously strict alcohol laws which ensured a ‘grog ban’ in Alice Springs’ roughly 30 tow camps.
‘I run a bakery in town and my partner and I have spent a lot of time with young girls who are in town in the middle of the night because (they say) ”my auntie has been bashed and bashed and there’s blood all over the walls”.
‘Or ”Dad’s mate came into my bedroom and tried to touch me”. It breaks your heart.’
Mr Clarke said he had seen people be hit in the head multiple times with tyre levers.
‘A woman got stabbed in a domestic violence issue here in town, she actually nearly had her head cut off, they cut her from one ear to the other,’ Mr Clarke said.
‘Our government in the NT has completely failed the community of Alice Springs and the people that live here.’
Mr Clarke called on Mr Albanese to clean up the streets and provide a safe facility out of town for neglected children to live in.
‘Mr Albanese is going to places where rivers are overflowing … come over mate because the rivers of grog are overflowing,’ he said.
‘Get up here and have a crack and show some leadership.
‘It’s not just people like me getting broken into, Indigenous people all through this community are getting hit. We’ve had four Indigenous businesses broken into this week.’
Mr Albanese will be joined by Ms Fyles on Tuesday to discuss the growing crisis with locals.
This club was broken into at 1am and alcohol was stolen, and when police were called they were ‘too busy’ to attend the incident
Some residents say they are living in fear and forced to hide indoors as gangs of hundreds of children, some as young as five, run riot on the streets.
When police are called, no-one answers or officers are too busy elsewhere to attend.
Mr Clarke earlier told 2GB that the problem was due to behaviour, not race.
‘The whole town is suffering. It doesn’t matter what colour you are,’ he said.
‘They don’t discriminate. They attack you. These kids are crying for help. They’ve got no mentors.’
The business owner had earlier put a call out for the PM to see for himself how overrun with violence Alice Springs had become.
One homeowner’s security camera caught this person carrying a knife when a group of kids broke in, unperturbed by the alarm and ate his food and watched TV before trashing the place
‘I’ll take you round to some of these kids and have a sit down with them mate. Listen to the kids,’ he said.
‘Listen to what they see in their homes. The blood splattered on the walls, the cries their aunties bashed on the ground.
‘It’s time, people. You want a voice Albo, you want a voice? Come up here.’
Local MP, Marion Scrymgour, member for the federal seat of Lingiari, said the removal of the grog ban had led to a level of violence she had never encountered.
‘I just find it unacceptable in this day and age that the violence against Aboriginal women in this town raises very little urgency from anyone – it’s appalling,’ Ms Scrymgour told The Australian.
She said there was also the issue of lawlessness among youths.
‘They don’t respect law or culture anymore and then there’s the adults and the level of violence, and it’s not just male on male or male on female, there’s a really bad level of violence of female on female and particularly under the influence of alcohol,’ she said.
‘I’ve seen some horrific fights in and around the town area of Alice Springs where women are just drunk and just stomping on (other women’s) heads.’
An Alice Springs man posted this video of the five children who broke into his Tennant Creek house, where they spent 30 minutes trashing the place before leaving