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PM visits Alice Springs in aftermath of curfew

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is touring the Red Centre just weeks after a violence ignited in the region and led to a weeks-long curfew.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is touring the Red Centre just weeks after a violence ignited in the region and led to a weeks-long curfew. Photo: Getty

Weeks after a series of violent brawls prompted authorities to impose a curfew on Alice Springs, the prime minister is touring the town in an attempt to address the social unrest.

Anthony Albanese will visit local organisations on Tuesday, roughly a fortnight after the three-week curfew came to an end.

Alice Springs mayor Matt Paterson welcomed the prime minister after he touched down in the Red Centre.

“It’s obviously greatly appreciated,” he told the Today Show.

“It’s the police resourcing, it’s the domestic violence, it’s also about having safe places for young kids to go … and I think that the prime minister listened to that.”

The curfew was first imposed in late March after an 18-year-old was killed in a car crash which triggered clashes between rival families and led to a surge of violence.

The Northern Territory government declared an emergency and prohibited children under 18 from entering central Alice Springs between 6pm and 6am.

Since the end of the order, extra police patrols have been introduced to prevent a return to violence as government social workers have provided support for families.

The federal government on Monday also committed an extra $14.2 million for policing and community safety supports in Alice Springs as part of an extension of its partnership with the Northern Territory government.

Justice advocates have warned punitive measures such as curfews and increased police numbers often fail to address root causes of crime and instead funnel more people into the criminal justice system.

But Paterson insists the curfew and bolstered police presence has made a difference.

“It changed the mindset of the community and people were so grateful that it had changed,” he said.

“They were  willing to go out to dinner and go to the movies at night time and that’s something that they haven’t done for a few years.”

– AAP

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