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Youth curfew imposed in crisis-struck Alice Springs after terrified locals cowered in a pub as an axe-wielding mob tried to smash their way inside

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Alice Springs youths will be subjected to a 14-day curfew in an attempt to curb crime and violence on the streets – after terrified locals were forced to cower in a pub while a mob armed with an axe tried to smash their way inside.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler held a snap press conference on Wednesday afternoon announcing the curfew would kick in from 6pm this evening.

An additional 58 police will be deployed to the region in an attempt to keep law and order, and to redirect youths back to their houses if they’re caught on the streets in the evening.

As the Easter long weekend approaches and for the next two weeks, youths under 18 must be in their homes between the hours of 6pm and 6am as an ’emergency situation’ is declared.

‘It’s going to be difficult for us to manage a curfew but I think the people of Alice Springs expect their government to step up and that’s what we’re doing,’ she said.

‘Kids are not safe on the streets, and if they are not safe at home they will be taken somewhere else.’

Ms Lawler herself will travel to the embattled region on Thursday morning, alongside police chief Michael Murphy.

It comes amid heightened tensions in the community following the death of an 18-year-old boy last week.

The tragedy has sparked family feuds which have spilled onto the streets.

One Alice Springs resident made an emotional plea for the Prime Minister to intervene after a vengeful mob rampaged down the town’s main street and attacked a pub with locals barricaded inside fearing for their lives. 

Videos taken from inside and outside the Todd Tavern on Tuesday afternoon show the group of around 70 Indigenous people attacking the windows and doors with rocks, bricks and sometimes their bare feet as they launch flying kicks.

From the inside, a local man holds the glass doors closed with his foot as frenzied attempts are made by Indigenous youth to kick in the glass, which cracks but does not shatter. 

Terrifying footage has emerged of a rampaging mob attacking an Alice Springs pub as locals barricade themselves inside

Terrifying footage has emerged of a rampaging mob attacking an Alice Springs pub as locals barricade themselves inside

In another video large rocks are hurled at the windows and hooded attackers can be seen menacingly carrying crow bars. 

Local baker Darren Clark, who founded the Action for Alice, on Wednesday morning called on Anthony Albanese to bring the area under federal control echoing similar pleas from NT LNP Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and the town’s mayor.

Asked by Sydney radio station talkback host Ben Fordham what he would like to say to Mr Albanese after the horrifying scenes, Mr Clark’s voice wavered with barely controlled emotion.

‘Just putting money on table doesn’t fix this mate,’ Mr Clark said.

‘You’ve got to come and see for yourself. You’ve got to come and talk to the locals to see what we are witnessing.

‘The messages I have got from people in this town overnight will break your bloody heart PM.

‘Come up here and talk to your fellow Australians and help this town. Just help us.’

Mr Clark told Fordham he didn’t know what to say any more because the town is ‘under siege’.

‘When is enough is enough?’ he said.

‘They are ruining our town. They have let it go. They are trusting people up here to fix this problem, they haven’t got a clue buddy. 

‘We’ve tried to tell them but they can’t fix this problem.

‘They have let it go too far, they’ve got the wrong people looking into this. They aren’t doing their jobs, they can’t do their jobs.

‘We need federal intervention up here.’

The rampaging mob of around 70 people took over one of the main roads of Alice Springs as they attacked the hotel

The rampaging mob of around 70 people took over one of the main roads of Alice Springs as they attacked the hotel

Inside the Todd Tavern a man was forced to hold the glass doors shut with his foot as attackers launched themselves at them

Inside the Todd Tavern a man was forced to hold the glass doors shut with his foot as attackers launched themselves at them

Mr Clark said the Northern Territory was ‘too immature to govern ourselves’. 

‘Our poor police are run off their feet, they are exhausted,’ he said.

The mob who were filmed attacking the hotel had ‘been through the whole town before that’, according to Mr Clark.

‘They had smashed windows throughout the whole town.

‘People were locking down, putting roller shutters down. People were hiding, they smashed the cars.

‘They had crowbars, axes running through the streets, it’s just insane. 

‘It’s the worst event here most of us have seen and you know I have seen a hell of a lot over the past four years.’

Mr Clark believed the situation had escalated overnight in one of the town camps where Indigenous people were mourning a ‘young fellow who died in a stolen car a few weeks back’. 

‘But that turned into payback, they are looking for the driver of the car looking for payback,’ Mr Clark said

‘We have had trouble last week with the bottle shops here – just absolute chaos.’

Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson has also called for the federal government to take control of the Northern Territory.

Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has called for federal riot squads or even the army to be deployed to return order to the centre of the Northern Territory

Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has called for federal riot squads or even the army to be deployed to return order to the centre of the Northern Territory

Mr Preston called the violence and anarchy seen in Alice Springs over recent days ‘a national embarrassment’. 

‘It may sound dramatic, but I’ve called [for] the federal government to step in here. They need to overrule the territory government and step in because this is dangerous, it’s scary,’ Mr Preston told the ABC

‘That is absolute senseless destruction in our town, and it’s frightening,’ he said.

‘Who knows what would have happened if they had have gotten to Todd Tavern.’

He confirmed Mr Clark’s account that the rampaging mob had descended on the town after Tuesday’s funeral and accompanying ceremonies for a who died when an allegedly stolen car crashed two weeks ago.

On March 8, an 18-year-old died after hanging out of the window of the vehicle as it rolled over in Alice Springs CBD.

Northern Territory Police Commissioner Michael Murphy said the group that invaded the town was from the Utopia region, northwest of Alice Springs.

NT Police Acting Assistant Commissioner James Gray-Spence said two arrests had been made and more than 50 weapons had been seized on Tuesday across several incidents.

An estimated $30,000 worth of damage was done to the Todd Tavern in the violent outbreak.

NT Acting Commissioner Gray-Spence said police officers had been attacked when they responded to the incident at the pub.

‘We had rocks thrown at our vehicle at the same time while we were restoring order as a result of our attendance,’ he said.

Cars and other shopfront windows throughout Alice Springs were also smashed up during the riot

Cars and other shopfront windows throughout Alice Springs were also smashed up during the riot

Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler believes AFP officers 'probably don¿t have the skill set to be managing violent Aboriginal people'

Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler believes AFP officers ‘probably don’t have the skill set to be managing violent Aboriginal people’

Senator Price has called on the Northern Territory government to allow the AFP riot officers or even Australian Defence Force personnel to be deployed to rein in the anarchy.

‘It’s up to the NT government to determine what is needed whether it is the riot squad or the ADF,’ Senator Price told Sky News.

‘But drastic measures need to be taken.’ 

The violence came a day after a 16-year-old girl was allegedly bashed by a group of other girls, with the footage being shared widely on social media.

In Parliament Opposition Leader Peter Dutton asked Mr Albanese if he was going to visit Alice Springs again in light of the recent incidents. 

Mr Albanese has made two brief visits to Alice Springs, the first one in response to the growing crime problem, where he pledged federal support to shore up law order.

The Prime Minister said he had taken the entire cabinet to the Northern Territory ‘just last week’. 

‘We had ministers in Alice Springs, in Catherine, in remote Northern Territory as well and I visited a remote community to commit to $4 billion, $4 billion to fix housing in remote communities,’ he said.



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