A shocking photo of a razor wire fence needed to protect residents of a retirement village has revealed the desperate truth about an Australian Outback town.
The Old Timers facility in Alice Springs now houses its elderly residents behind a barbed wire fence that appears to keep criminals in a prison rather than out of a care home.
The Northern Territory city has made headlines for its out-of-control crime rate, but for many residents this is as low as it gets.
Businessman Darren Clark, who has long campaigned against lawless gangs and alcohol-fueled violence, posted photos of the “full set” fence on his Action for Alice Facebook page.
“They have been burglarized several times, they break into rooms and steal residents’ belongings,” Mr Clark said. news.com.au.
A shocking photo of a barbed wire fence (pictured) needed to protect residents of a retirement village has revealed the desperate truth about an Australian town.
The property, which includes Old Timers Village, Flynn Lodge and the resident-run Old Timers Museum tourist attraction, installed the new fence after break-ins, car thefts and ram raids.
“A guy, his mother… they were in his room. They stole staff cars. They were breaking in, taking cars and carrying out raids,” Mr Clark said.
Although national media attention to Alice Springs’ crime problems has faded since it hit the headlines earlier this year – when Opposition Leader Peter Dutton called it a “national shame” – the problems have not gone away.
In January, Anthony Albanese was criticized for spending just four hours in town for crisis talks with Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles.
The Prime Minister was also accused by National leader David Littleproud of causing a law and order crisis in the hinterland town by failing to listen to the community.
Mr Littleproud also said the crime wave showed why an Indigenous voice in Parliament would fail.
Crime had soared in the city and surrounding areas after a 15-year alcohol ban expired in July 2022.
But it was reinstated in February, preventing the sale of alcohol in urban Aboriginal camps and isolated communities, in response to rising crime.
However, the latest figures from the NT Police showed a massive increase in crime in the 12 months to August.
This included a 22 percent increase in assaults, a 28 percent increase in domestic violence-related assaults, a 28 percent increase in alcohol-related assaults and a 23 percent increase in sexual assaults.
Commercial burglaries also increased by 12 percent, while property damage increased by 9 percent in the city of 28,000.
The establishment (pictured) installed the new fence after break-ins, car thefts and raids.
A barbed wire fence is pictured at the Old Timers facility in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
NT Police said they would be able to cope with an expected increase in crime similar to last summer’s record levels of violence.
Acting Commander James Gray-Spence said the force had learned lessons from what happened then.
“For the police, Operation Drina will continue, so it will be high visibility policing…dedicated to being on the ground to particularly reduce anti-social behavior which we saw peak in incidents over the summer” , did he declare. ABC Radio.
“It’s those kinds of things that really affect your perception of safety as you move in and around these spaces that are heavily used by the public.”
Commander Gray-Spence said disorderly behavior and youth crime would be addressed by multiple government agencies.
“The broader planning for summer right now is coordinating government services,” he said.
“That’s where we sit down as directors and regional directors to make sure that it’s not just the police on site – that we have referrals in place for other agencies for diversion activities .”
Mr Clark took issue with police being ready for the summer, saying his policy was “bulls***”.
The property includes Old Timers Village, Flynn Lodge and the resident-run tourist attraction Old Timers Museum (pictured).
Businessman Darren Clarke (pictured) said police were not prepared to deal with a surge in violence this summer in Alice Springs.
“If you call the police, you’re lucky if they show up. We just know that nothing will happen, there will be no ramifications – it will ignite,” he said.
Commenters on its Facebook page expressed shock at the barbed wire fence around the retirement community.
“No respect for elders and so sad for residents. They deserve to feel safe and be safe,” one wrote.
“(It) feels like a prison, it’s so sad that our elderly need protection,” said another.