‘What’s it going to take?’: Police association calls again for reforms after five officers were allegedly assaulted over the weekend

An 18-year-old who allegedly spat, punched and kicked five police officers during an arrest at an Alice Springs bottle shop on Saturday has been charged, Northern Territories Police said, as the union representing the police again called for mandatory imprisonment for those found. Guilty of assaulting cops.

In the latest incident, police say the man was identified as having an outstanding warrant during a point-of-sale response to the No Name liquor store in Alice Springs, where officers attempted to stop the man.

But he resisted and allegedly punched one of the officers several times in the head, causing a mild concussion, while also attempting to bite the police, according to a statement released by police.

Another officer allegedly tried to help the first officer when the teenager allegedly spat and tried to bite the second officer.

Police said three other off-duty officers were involved as the man continued to resist, kicking and spitting at the group of officers.

“He was eventually checked and transported to the Alice Springs Watch House, where he remained uncooperative and again allegedly spat directly in the face of the officers present,” Acting Superintendent Michael Milde said.

Superintendent Milde said the officers all went to Alice Springs Hospital for testing and one officer was treated for a mild concussion and other minor injuries. Police said all returned to work to complete their shifts.

The latest incident comes amid a criminal crackdown in Alice Springs announced by police last week to deal with rising incidents of random assaults and property crimes in the beleaguered town.

“The behavior of the offender is disgusting and the fact that our officers have returned to work following this incident is a testament to the dedication of our members,” Superintendent Milde said.

NT Police Association president Paul McCue said the 18-year-old who allegedly assaulted officers was being given a suspended sentence for two previous assaults on police and called for mandatory jail sentences for any person convicted of assaulting NT police officers.

“What will it take for the government to listen to our concerns?” McCue said in a statement. “How many times do our officers have to go home injured before reform actually happens?

“The NTPA has been waiting for months for an update from the Gunner government’s task force on assaults on workers. We are still waiting for this update.

“These members now face an anxious wait for test results to see if they have contracted a communicable disease.”

St John Ambulance staff were also spat at in an isolated incident Friday in Darwin’s northern suburb of Karama.

Police said the 18-year-old from Alice Springs was charged with five counts of assaulting police, three counts of resisting police and two counts of breach of bail. He was due to appear in Alice Springs Local Court on Monday.

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