Four Corners on ABC TV – In the heart of Darwin, private security firms hired by the Northern Territory Government patrol the streets.
This is one of the only places in Australia where the government pays private companies to carry out work for which the police would usually be responsible.
The guards have no extra powers and very little training to provide what’s been described as “quasi law and order”.
And community advocates say they aren’t helping — they’re escalating violence on the streets.
In this episode of Four Corners, Indigenous Affairs reporter Brooke Fryer, uncovers the extent of the potentially unlawful practices of these government-hired security guards.
The companies have a disturbing history in the NT and their officers have been involved in a number of alleged assaults.
In a collaboration with ABC’s Regional Investigations Unit, Four Corners has obtained footage of several altercations including one in which security guards repeatedly drag an elderly Aboriginal woman along a concrete pavement.
Other incidents show guards from one of the companies pinning a teenage boy on the road, as well as hitting a woman in the face.
This episode investigates whether these guards are adequately skilled or qualified, and what accountability or oversight is in place.
Guarded reported by Brooke Fryer goes to air Monday 30 October at 8.30pm on ABC TV and ABC iview
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