ITINERANTS RETURN TO HOSE VIDEO STORE
ITINERANTS have again been filmed begging and loitering at the front of a Darwin tourist operator’s shop where a worker was captured spraying a hose near a man last week.
The footage was taken by long-term Territorian Shane Nouwens who said anti-social behaviour from Darwin’s itinerant population was worse than it had ever been.
In the footage the couple have a plastic bottle near them which they tell the man is “chardonnay”.
Mr Nouwens said aggressive begging needed to stop.
“We need to address the behaviour, where it is imposing on the rights of peaceful citizens,” he said. “This is such a big issue. The authorities are not coming clean to the public about the enormity of this issue.
“It really ramps up after business hours — it becomes more aggressive as time goes on — but the authorities only seem to pay attention during business hours.” Mr Nouwens said habitual drunks set up along Mitchell St every night begging for money, drinking, and heckling passers-by.
“It’s clear they are heavily intoxicated,” he said.
Last week, Darwin’s issues with itinerants were thrust into the national spotlight after a video of a Mitchell St business worker hosing near an indigenous man went viral on social media.
The Darwin Tours worker said he was cleaning away food waste that had been left behind by the other man.
After filming the most recent footage on Saturday, Mr Nouwens said he wanted more action to keep the streets safe.
“This is a behavioural issue — our constant failure to deal with it — it’s not good enough.
“It’s doing massive damage to our tourism industry.”
Mr Nouwens said 15 years ago, tourists would compliment Darwin on its clean streets. “Now, every tourist asks about the drunks,” he said.
New Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis wants Darwin council rangers to have the power to move itinerants on.
Mr Vatskalis said itinerants were an issue that council should have more power to do something about.
“It’s not just a problem for us here in Darwin, it’s a problem everywhere in the Territory,” he said last week.
Last month, a pre-council election poll of NT News readers voted the itinerant issue in the CBD as the most pressing problem they wanted fixed.
‘It’s doing massive damage to our tourism industry’ SHANE NOUWENS