Overnight youth curfew in Alice Springs could be extended

Nearly 60 extra police have been deployed to Alice Springs as the town grapples with youth crime.

Nearly 60 extra police have been deployed to Alice Springs as the town grapples with youth crime. Photo: AAP

The emergency overnight youth curfew in Alice Springs imposed as the outback town grapples with youth crime could be extended.

The Northern Territory government announced the curfew as part of an emergency declaration after chaos descended on the red centre town on Tuesday, when youths attacked the Todd Tavern as tensions escalated following the death of a teenager.

Brawls continued later in the evening as family members mourned the death, with up to 150 people clashing in town camps.

The 14-day curfew was declared on Wednesday, barring anyone under the age of 19 from entering the Alice Springs CBD between 6pm and 6am.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler said on Monday the curfew could be continued.

“We looked at that two-week period to cover Easter and the start of the school holiday,” she told reporters.

“That might be one of the first steps is to look at possibly extending it for those days over the school holidays.”

Lawler said 25 youths breached the curfew on Sunday night and they were taken home with support services offered to their families.

“Some families are really struggling to make sure that their children are doing the right thing, that they have those boundaries in place,” she said.

More families had asked for help and support to help care for their children since the curfew started five days ago.

“Which is a positive thing,” Lawler said.

Most Alice Springs residents were “absolutely overjoyed” by the curfew and “pressure release” it had brought to the town of about 30,000, she said.

“Anecdotally the evidence is that the town is so much more quieter … there has been a reduction of crime in the areas outside of the CBD,” she said.

“The police have done an amazing job to get the curfew in place.”

Rising tensions in the desert town were inflamed by the death of an 18-year-old in a fatal car accident in early March.

He died after hanging out of the window of a stolen car that rolled over in the Alice Springs CBD and was left there by the driver and passengers.

The attack on the Todd Tavern caused about $30,000 damage.

After the emergency declaration was made on the same day, police deployed an extra 58 police officers to the town.

Officers seized more than 50 weapons, including spears, axes and clubs, following the clashes in town camps on Tuesday night.

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