As politicians flew into the war-like town of Alice Springs to address the ongoing spate of crime, an acclaimed author and community worker who has spent more than 45 years working with Indigenous people in the Northern Territory, has spoken about the wave of youth crime, saying young criminals were the actual victims. Richard Trudgen, author of Why Warriors Lie Down and Die, and facilitator of 'Bridging the Gap' seminars, said that while the current 'lawlessness' in some towns and communities - including Alice Springs and Katherine - had been predicted, it was the underlying causes that needed to be tackled to get the problem under control. "More punitive sentences, like some are calling for, will not solve the problem," he said. "Young Aboriginal people are the victims here. "Young people who display all sorts of anti-social end-stage behavioural problems do not sniff petrol, self-harm, commit acts of vandalism, break and enter, or act violently towards the wider community and their own family just because they are bad or bored. "There are clear human dynamic reasons why this anti-social behaviour occurs." Mr Trudgen said in most cases, these young people were traumatised young people living in families and communities who have already experienced high levels of trauma, confusion and dysfunction over an extended period. "This is caused by something going wrong between themselves and the wider mainstream Australian English-speaking community," the community worker said. "In a way, Aboriginal youth suffer a crisis of living just by being born on the wrong side of the 'mainstream' Australian English-speaking culture divide." Mr Trudgen said young people were suffering because their parents were no longer coping, blaming what he refers to as structural violence, intergenerational transfer of trauma and confusion. "They hear of intercultural conflict and accounts of injustice that has occurred to their people or families since English-speaking outsiders came to their country." The community development social workers said good communication was the key to a solution. "Because their mind processes information in (their traditional) language, not in the mainstream English language, they cannot access or appropriate the mainstream English knowledge and information that other Australians have open access to. "What they need is good access to fundamental underlying information and education in their own language; their speaking and thinking language, their heart language, yet very little is done to overcome this massive disadvantage. "Shooting basketball hoops and kicking footballs will not do it. "The reality is these young people are unintentionally locked out of the English-speaking mainstream information loop. "And if you don't know what you don't know, the massive confusion experienced implodes across your life." Mr Trudgen said, in many communities adults had given up "fighting" for a better life and are caught in a world of alcohol and drugs, "ending their lives very quickly while creating a nightmare for their own young people". He said empowering people as individuals, whole families and communities by providing good information and education programs in their language could "slowly turn the situation around" and help to decrease or stop anti-social behaviour. "This will be much more effective than any increase in punitive regimes that will cost a fortune and inflame the problem," he said. "We need to stop the cross-cultural cross-language war that is currently occurring. "If this could happen, individuals, families, and communities will create their own interventions that are necessary to stop the decay in their own lives. Whole communities can return to more 'normal', healthy, responsive and responsible behaviour. "These communities might even become productive rather than being a continual drain on the government purse." Mr Trudgen's comments were made as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Alice Springs to meet with NT Government and council, community and police representatives in a bid to get a handle on the town's crime crisis. Amid the surge in youth crime, the Northern Territory Government said it would restrict the sale of alcohol in Alice Springs. Meanwhile, local Indigenous groups in the troubled town joined Mr Trudgen's sentiment. Alice Springs Traditional Owner group Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation said ongoing "chronic and systemic neglect" in Indigenous communities and family groups had led to the town's problems. Chief executive Graeme Smith said the men, women and children on the streets of Alice Springs were rarely local Arrernte people. "They are almost all from bush communities where they live in third world conditions with no future and little hope," he said. He said for many, living in the streets of Alice Springs was better than their own "crowded, broken and impoverished" communities.