Police in NT Government schools

The Department of Education and NT Police work collaboratively to deliver programs, activities and services in NT Government schools aimed at

  • improving young people’s understanding of community and safety issues,
  • establishing strong and positive relationships between police, students, families, schools and school communities and
  • maintaining safe and supportive school environments.

School Based Police Program

A key program in our 13 NT Government middle schools and senior colleges is the School Based Police Program.  The School Based Police Program is a joint initiative between Education and the NT Police which focuses on students in years 7–10.

The program is delivered by School Based Police Officers whose role is to:

  • deliver education programs which help young people make good decisions on their health, safety, wellbeing and resilience
  • build positive relationships with young people, and
  • develop relationships with community groups, non-government and government agencies to support services for young people who are in need or at risk

The role does not include:

  • behaviour management
  • arresting young people on school grounds, except where arrest is an option of the last resort.

The program operates in these schools:

  • Casuarina Senior College
  • Centralian Middle School
  • Centralian Senior School
  • Darwin High School
  • Darwin Middle School
  • Dripstone Middle School
  • Katherine High School
  • Nhulunbuy High School
  • Nightcliff Middle School
  • Palmerston College
  • Sanderson Middle School
  • Taminmin College
  • Tennant Creek High School

Law enforcement protocols

Education and NT Police have agreed to the following law enforcement protocols in NT Government schools:

  1. Police can undertake all necessary duties as required when in schools, but such activities must not cause any unnecessary interruption of education or contravene legislative requirements.
  2. Principals receiving reports of alleged unlawful or criminal behaviour by students must refer this information directly to police on ph. 131 444, and in the case of an emergency ph. 000.
  3. Principals should contact the local police station’s Officer in Charge to clarify concerns regarding police interaction with the school.
  4. Police must speak with the principal or a member of the school’s leadership team before conducting any police activity within the school, noting Police are empowered to immediately enter a school in an emergency or where there are exceptional circumstances.
  5. Police must contact a student’s parent prior to conducting enquiries where a student is:
    • suspected of being involved in an offence
    • a victim, or
    • a witness.
  6. Students will not be formally interviewed by police within school grounds except in the case of an emergency or where there are exceptional circumstances.
  7. Where an emergency or exceptional circumstance necessitates a formal police interview:
    • principals must provide a safe and private space to conduct the interview
    • police must organise a support person for the student.
  8. Students may request departmental or other school staff as support persons. This is not encouraged unless it is considered necessary.  Principals must consider the professional relationship with the student prior to approving involvement.
  9. Where the school is the complainant, department and other school staff members cannot act as a student’s support person as this may constitute a conflict of interest.
  10. Principals must provide a private space for police to carry out a search of a student, their clothing and immediate personal belongings.
  11. A police officer of the same gender is required to conduct the search of a student. If an officer is not available within a reasonable timeframe, a medical practitioner or staff member of the same gender may conduct the search under police direction. The student’s support person must be present during the search.
  12. Police may apprehend students at school only as an option of last resort.
  13. If a student in the direct control of a principal commits an offence against another student also in direct control of the principal, the principal may request the following information from Police
    1. names of the parties involved
    2. charges laid (if any)
    3. bail conditions that may directly relate to the safety of the students and/or staff at the school the parties attend.

Last updated: 05 October 2022

Give feedback about this page.

Share this page:

URL copied!