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Alice Springs curfew ends as school returns

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The Alice Springs curfew imposed on young people has been lifted, three weeks after first coming into effect.
Alice Springs curfew

A three-week curfew for young people in Alice Springs ended this morning, as public schools in the Northern Territory return from holidays.

The curfew banned under-18-year-olds in Alice Springs from leaving their homes between 6pm and 6am. It was aimed at addressing concerns of growing youth violence in the region.

While the curfew has officially come to an end, NT authorities said an increased police presence will remain in Alice Springs over the coming months.

Alice Springs curfew

An initial two-week curfew was announced for Alice Springs last month.

Under the curfew, any young person found in the town centre after hours was returned to their home by police or taken to “a safe place”.

The curfew was due to end on 10 April, before it was extended until 6am Tuesday 16 April to cover the full NT school holiday period.

NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler said the curfew successfully acted as a “circuit-breaker” to improve community safety.

Opposition response

The NT Opposition supported extending the curfew but had called for it to continue beyond school holidays.

It has urged the government to introduce harsher measures to crack down on youth crime, including harsher penalties for young people breaking curfew.

It’s also called for the age of criminal responsibility in the NT to be lowered. The Territory increased the minimum age police can press charges against a child from 10 to 12-years-old last year.

What happens after the curfew ends?

Around 35 additional police officers, including 10 from South Australia, will continue patrolling Alice Springs over the coming weeks.

Dozens of extra officers will remain in Alice Springs until the end of June, when at least 70 new NT police officers are expected to begin working in the Territory.

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