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NT Police face axes and rioting aboriginal community members

DARWIN 16 July 2012. Ten people have been arrested in relation to a large disturbance in Yuendumu on Saturday.

Superintendent Peter Gordon said Police were called to the local store at about 11:00 am after receiving a report of approximately 50 people making threats to a group of about 15 people inside the store.

“Local members formed a line between the large group and the store for several hours until those inside could be safely removed. During this time members successfully negotiated with the large group and moved them back towards their homes.

“Police continued to conduct patrols of the community when they were alerted to a large group of people from South Camp heading towards West Camp armed with various weapons.

“Police immediately attended West Camp and on arrival they were fronted with up to 80 people armed with axes, nulla nulla’s, steel pipes, spears, star pickets, steel wheel braces and axels and rocks.

“Police were attempting to disperse the two groups when a man armed with a tomahawk axe turned on one of the members. The Officer deployed his OC Spray which forced the man back without incident.

“During the disturbance a group of people from West Camp were attempting to flee the community in a bus when they were allegedly attacked by a group from South Camp. The attackers boarded the bus and forced the group to flee into the bush for safety.

“The bus was then allegedly used to ram a structure belonging to West Camp and was later found to be completely engulfed in flames near the entrance of South Camp.

“A house in West Camp received damage after rocks were thrown on the roof and the windows smashed. The group also allegedly attacked the resident who was inside the house.

“Due to the large disturbance, a further eight members from Alparra, Haasts Bluff, Willowra and Papunya were sent to the community to assist the local members,” said Superintendent Gordon.

As a result of more Police reinforcements, ten people were arrested in relation to the disturbance:

·         Two females charged with offences relating to the disturbance were released on bail

·         A 17-year-old male will be summonsed to face charges relating to the disturbance

·         A female was released without charge pending further enquiries

·         Six offenders remain in Police custody

Image supplied by Northern Territory Police