Massive brawl breaks out in outback town

Police arrived at the scene after a brawl allegedly broke out in Alice Springs about 1:30pm. multiple arrests were made. Picture:Facebook/ActionforAlice2020
Police arrived at the scene after a brawl allegedly broke out in Alice Springs about 1:30pm. multiple arrests were made. Picture:Facebook/ActionforAlice2020

A massive brawl involving about 50 people has broken out in Alice Springs just days after a 72-hour town curfew was implemented by police.

The curfew came after off-duty police officers were attacked by about 20 men on the weekend.

Police Commissioner Michael Murphy ordered the snap curfew to prevent adults and children from entering the town centre at nighttime between 10pm and 6am.

But Wednesday’s violent scenes erupted outside Coles on Gregory Terrace and Bath Street about 1.15pm.

Police responded to multiple reports that a large group was fighting outside the supermarket with various weapons and was believed to have involved family groups that were known to each other.

The Strike Force Viper, the Dog Operations Unit and Southern Traffic Operation officers attended the incident to restore order.

A police spokesperson said the crowd was dispersed and there was no longer a threat to public safety.

Five people were arrested by police and are expected to be charged with multiple offences. Picture:Facebook/ActionforAlice2020
Five people were arrested by police and are expected to be charged with multiple offences. Picture:Facebook/ActionforAlice2020

Two females aged 17 and 19, and three males aged 21, 26 and 42, were arrested at the scene.

They are expected to be charged with multiple offences, including disorderly behaviour in a public place and being armed with an offensive weapon.

No serious injuries were reported, but a number of weapons were seized including nulla-nullas, spears, a baseball bat and a machete.

Witnesses on the Action for Alice Facebook page commented that it was “sickening to witness such depraved behaviour.”

“Every bloody day it just gets worse,” a person said.

Another person said they did not get out of their car because it was far too dangerous.

Alice Springs business owner and founder of Action for Alice Darren Clark told News Corp while officers arrived quickly, there were few police vehicles around during the day, and that the government had failed to equip the town with adequate resources.

“The last few hours have been pretty unsteady,” he said.

“They’ve got to get more boots on the ground and have a really strong presence in the middle of the day.”

Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson told News Corp he would welcome an extension to the curfew. Picture: Supplied
Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson told News Corp he would welcome an extension to the curfew. Picture: Supplied

A decision to extend the curfew is expected to be made on Thursday, and has been welcomed by Alice Springs mayor Matt Paterson who told News Corp that while it was not perfect the curfew made a noticeable difference.

“It was actually a really nice place to live from the last curfew. It’s actually made a dramatic impact,” he said.

“So, whatever they did 12 weeks ago has clearly worked, and we’ve just had a small hiccup.

“But people are frustrated and, you know, they don’t celebrate the decision for a curfew, they welcome it because they want to be safe.”

Acting Southern Commander Drew Slape commended the work of police who responded to the incident and apprehended the offenders.

“This sort of violent criminal conduct has no place in our community. We will continue to take action against people who engage in this type of reprehensible behaviour,” he said.

“Our dedicated officers have responded to calls to assist and we will have extra members working tonight, giving up their time off in order to keep Alice Springs residents safe.”