ITIN­ER­ANTS RE­TURN TO HOSE VIDEO STORE

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - LAU­REN ROBERTS

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.