July, 21 2017

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Troubled Teens Roaming Streets With Weapons

TROUBLED teens are roaming Top End streets carrying deadly weapons.

But Northern Territory police said yesterday the youths were yet to use them to threaten or harm anyone.

Officers have seized up to 20 items considered to be improvised weapons since the police school holidays Operation Azele began a month ago.

Most of the weapons are handles from shopping trolleys, which weigh "a few kilos" and would cause "serious damage" if swung at someone, police said.

Acting Sergeant Andy Bedwell, who is the Commander of the operation, said it was a concern youths were arming themselves with offensive weapons and roaming the streets.

"We have confiscated between 10 and 20 weapons of this nature," he said.

"It seems to be a trend to remove the handles from shopping trolleys.

"These weigh a few kilos and are certainly dangerous weapons - in the hands of an inexperienced kid it could cause quite serious damage or harm and they are probably not aware of the consequences."

Acting Sgt Bedwell stressed that - aside from one arrest involving these weapons, and it was not an assault - no crimes had been committed with them.

"But it's troubling for us that kids feel the need to carry these sort of weapons around," he said.

Operation Azele is the NT Police's school holiday operation tackling antisocial behaviour and property crime in hot spot areas across the greater Darwin region, including Palmerston.

It has run for about a month and ends on February 3.

Acting Sgt Bedwell said the operation had been successful to date, and warned young offenders that police would not let up in the next month.

"We're happy to report that we are certainly not experiencing the levels of antisocial behaviour we anticipated," he said.

"There is definitely a trend downwards in social disorder problems with youth and it's the same with property crime, in comparison to last year.

"But we are still experiencing certain problems with juveniles and we are going to maintain our vigilance."

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