‘Old people, women and children are being terrorised’
Teenage thugs roaming the streets wielding machetes, knives, tomahawk axes and iron bars are waging a campaign of terror in the remote community of Daly River, fearful residents say.
The NT News has been told that a fight between "a couple of girls" has escalated into a three-week campaign of rioting, brutality and destruction that has seen bashings, homes trashed and set on fire, pets killed and cars destroyed.
The residents said as a result of one violent bashing a resident has lost an eye. They told of another particularly gruesome incident which saw a home vandalised and the family pet dog killed and dumped inside the house.
"Someone is going to die," a frightened caller told the NT News.
Police acting superintendent John Atkin confirmed that over the past few weeks there has been community unrest at Daly River, 220km from Darwin. He also confirmed that police from Adelaide River and Batchelor had been called to help Daly River police handle the violence.
"Police can confirm that they are investigating an assault which occurred on New Year's Eve, which resulted in an injury to a person's eye," he said. He said local police had attended community meetings which were held to try and resolve some of the issues.
"Police from Adelaide River and Batchelor have been assisting Daly River police as required with patrols of the community," he said.
"Police urge community members to report any incidents as soon as possible."
However, the residents say a stronger presence by police is urgently needed. They are calling on the police task force to be sent to the town to put an end to the violence.
"Old people, women and children are being terrorised," the caller told the NT News.
"Dozens of people have fled the town to Batchelor and Darwin to escape the violence. There is full on gang violence going on.
"People have been chased and bashed for no reason ... they have barricaded themselves while these gangs have been smashing the homes apart trying to get at them.
"There are kids running riot destroying property, killing pets, smashing up cars. They are on the streets with knives, machetes, tomahawks, steel bars and even bottles filled with petrol.
"One home with people inside was set on fire ... some people who have fled the community have gone back to check on their homes only to find they have been broken into and there things either damaged or gone."