Violent clash leaves town lockdown in the balance

July 11, 2024 03:30 | News

Alice Springs residents are cautiously waiting to hear if a snap curfew will be lifted after renewed clashes threatened to extend a three-night lockdown. 

Police said most residents had complied with the restrictions ahead of a decision on Thursday on a possible extension.

But on Wednesday afternoon they arrested five people involved in a big family feud on Bath St in the town’s centre.

Police said the families were known to each other.

There are reports they are the same families at the centre of a feud that sparked a three-week curfew in March and April following the death of an 18-year-old man, who had been left trapped under a stolen vehicle.

While no-one was injured in the latest clash, weapons including nulla-nullas, spears, a baseball bat and a machete were seized by police.

Acting Southern Commander Drew Slape said the “reprehensible behaviour” had no place in the community.

“Our dedicated officers have responded to calls to assist and we will have extra members working tonight, giving up their time off in order to keep Alice Springs residents safe,” he said.

It is unknown if the disturbance will extend the curfew.

Michael Murphy (left) and Brent Potter
Michael Murphy (left) and Brent Potter will decide on Thursday if the curfew will be extended. (Neve Brissenden/AAP PHOTOS)

Police Minister Brent Potter said the decision to extend the curfew would be made on Thursday morning after he and NT Police Commissioner Michael Murphy had reviewed the “most up-to-date” information. 

“The police commissioner and I are in regular contact regarding the on-going curfew in Alice Springs,” Mr Potter said.

Mr Murphy on Monday declared a 72-hour curfew which banned adults and children from entering the town centre from 10pm to 6am each night, unless they have a valid reason to be there.

Under controversial laws passed on urgency in May, the police commissioner can call a snap curfew but only the Police Minister can extend it upon the commissioners request. 

Mr Murphy said he made the decision to lockdown Alice Springs following a string of “violent incidents” at the weekend.

NT Police confirmed about 5000 people travelled to Alice Springs in recent weeks for school holidays, the Alice Springs Show and NAIDOC week.

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