Tangentyere Patrols are prevention and acute intervention services, staffed by Aboriginal people who work to resolve disputes and intervene in situations of family conflict before harm is caused. They are Indigenous services, operating within Indigenous culture, and have no coercive powers.
Tangentyere Night Patrol has been operating since 1990, with Community Day Patrol and Youth Night Patrol coming under Tangentyere’s Social Justice Programs in 2007.
There is a strong base of evidence regarding the effectiveness and benefits of community patrolling in Aboriginal communities. Such benefits include reducing violence, including domestic violence, assisting in the prevention of child abuse, increasing community perceptions of safety, minimising the harm of substance misuse, creation of jobs and self-esteem for community members, and reducing the costs incurred by other services, such as incarceration and health care.
Night Patrol aims to assist people at risk, including intoxicated people, juveniles, victims of violence and the homeless, by patrolling the streets and local community areas, where it is expected that people may come into adverse contact with the criminal justice system.
Community Day Patrol assists in maintaining social order in public places around Alice Springs by reducing and preventing harm associated with substance misuse for both the individual and the community.
The Youth Night Patrol aims to reduce the incidence of young people being subjected to harmful situations, and to link them to solutions that can address their needs.
Tangentyere Night Patrol received the Australian Institute of Criminology’s Violence Prevention Award in 1993 in recognition of a 20 per cent reduction in assaults and a 10 per cent reduction in criminal damage in its first three years of operation. The service was commended again under the Australian Violence Prevention Award in 1999 and won the Award again in 2002.
Staff in the Social Justice work closely with the: