Topic: Crime issues since the Northern Territory intervention: the drive to convict

Presenter: Dr Thalia Anthony - University of Technology Sydney

Since the Northern Territory Intervention in 2007, there has been a spike in criminalisation, especially in remote Indigenous communities. The result has been a rise in Northern Territory incarceration to over four times the national average. This paper argues that an unanticipated significant feature of the rise in Northern Territory Indigenous criminalisation is the increased conviction of driving offences, particularly 'drive unregistered / unlicensed / uninsured'. This 'driving trifecta' captures the Indigenous offender in one police process. This paper is based on a research project with Harry Blagg, which is funded by the Criminology Research Council. It suggests that the legality of Indigenous drivers and road safety would be better addressed through more effective means of regulating drivers and vehicles than law enforcement. It draws on Jonathan Simon's framework of Governing Through Crime to argue that the Intervention used Indigenous crime to justify much broader governance, while failing to address the violent and sexual crime epidemics that were the bases for the Intervention. 

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Beth Williams, ph: 334 69350, email:


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