Adelaide City Council’s Community Safety Discussion Paper provides an evidence base (updated crime profile and analysis of current challenges and trends) for Council’s approach to community safety. It informed our consultation with the community through the online engagement portal Your Say Adelaide in November 2011. This consultation will support the development of the Safer City Policy and Strategy (in progress).
By world standards Perth is a very safe, liveable, vibrant city with a diverse community. As the capital city local government, the City of Perth works in partnership with agencies and the community to ensure the streets and open spaces of the CBD and surrounding residential areas are safe and accessible for people who live, work and visit the city.
The SafeCity Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan 2010 – 2013 is the City’s most recent plan. The issues and actions that have been identified are supported by agencies represented on the SafeCity Working Group, including state government, WA Police, and community safety and business groups.
Four priority issues have been identified in the plan and a series of actions have been developed to address these.
1. Lack of activity in the City of Perth outside business hours.
2. Excessive use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
3. Anti-social behaviour.
4. Environments where people feel welcome and safe.
Council aims to increase the number of people living, visiting, working and learning in the City to an optimum sustainable level. With a focus on the City centre, increasing the number of people in the City brings with it the challenge of managing potential conflicts between City users, in particular between residents and other City users.
The Adelaide (City) Development Plan is the primary policy instrument to control changes of land use and new buildings to achieve the City’s desired future. Council recognises that the degree of mixed use sought throughout the City varies, as does the degree of management required to address the various levels of mixed land use, in particular evening and late night land uses.
Adelaide City Council – Late Night Safety Audits
- Council runs annual Late Night Safety Audit in all City entertainment precincts. The West End late night safety audit has been conducted annually since 2005 and other precincts are audited every two to three years.
- Typically late night safety audit are conducted from 11.30pm-3am on a Saturday night incorporating teams of volunteers (including residents, students, agency / business representatives and people who regularly go out in the precinct at night) and a team leader.
- Police generally provide the meeting place and a pre-audit safety talk.
- Auditors rate how safe they feel in a range of audit locations (up to 30) on a scale from very safe – very unsafe. They are also asked to comment on the influence of lighting, sightlines, maintenance and cleanliness, activity, land use and signage (a driver analysis is conducted to determine which of these factors most influences perceptions of safety).
- The selection of audit locations is based on previous audits of the area.
- The data collected is divided into the most safe, less safe, and most unsafe locations.
- Council concentrates its resources on addressing the safety issues at the most unsafe locations. A ranked list of all audit locations, with a mean safety rating comparison between previous audit results is included in the report.
- The process then requires the development of an action plan and memorandum to Council and the relevant community group (e.g. West End Reference Group) receives progress reports on these actions.
Adelaide City Council – Capital City Safety Strategy
The Capital City Safety Strategy Group (CCSSG) was reactivated in December 2007 with senior staff representatives from SA Police (SAPOL), State Government, Adelaide City Council and the Office of the Licensing Commissioner (OLGC). The role of the CCSSG is to develop and co-ordinate strategies that reduce anti-social behaviour within the City and improve the perception of safety with the initial focus on the West End. The CCSSG reports to the Capital City Committee.
The Council Police and Licensing Liaison Group was established in early 2008 to review Development Applications or licensing matters that may impact on City resident or visitor quality of life through criminal or anti-social behaviour.
The West End Reference Group was formed by Council in September 2005 to address the real and perceived levels of safety in the West End. It meets every two months.
A range of other safety groups are formed to address safety issues as they emerge e.g. in Hutt Street, the South East Corner of the City and other areas.
The CCTV Strategic Group was formed by Council in collaboration with SA Police in 2004 to address long term strategic issues for the City wide CCTV system. There is also a CCTV Management Group that oversees day-to-day and technical operations of the Citywide CCTV system.
Management of the Public Realm
Broken Windows Theory suggests that public perceptions of insecurity and fear of crime are strongly influenced by the impression of how public spaces are managed. Where there is evidence of unwelcoming spaces, which may be poorly lit at night, attract graffiti, vandalism, or litter, fear of crime and increased anti-social behaviour and other crime, may be linked to perceived disorder.
Council contributes significant resources to managing the public realm, which impacts on perceptions of safety in the City through:
- Cleansing (which includes a graffiti removal program);
- Maintenance of the public realm;
- Provision of public conveniences;
- Waste management;
- Lighting – Council has a rolling program of lighting improvements throughout the City. In addition, it is in the process of improving and implementing under-veranda lighting, whereby building owners and occupiers are responsible for ensuring that the lighting is switched on during the hours of darkness. This assists in increasing the perception of safety in the City;
- Provision of car parking stations (UPark) in the CBD, Market, West End, and East End of the City, and on street parking; and
- Security officers monitor specific areas (including Rundle Mall, the Market, and the Town Hall).
Adelaide City Council will be reviewing its Community Safety Strategy 2009-2012 in 2011/12. This strategy provides a strategic overview of the work Council conducts in relation to safety and identifies the ways in which Council will provide leadership by creating a safer environment for everyone.
Adelaide City Council recognises not only that the perception of safety from crime and injury arises from a number of factors but that it is also an essential contribution to our quality of life.
A community safety approach to creating a safe City promotes safety and generates increased synergies between a range of initiatives and between the community, Council, State Government departments, businesses and agencies. All parties work together to create a secure, safe place to live, work and visit.
By increasing levels of trust and co-operation between communities, businesses, Council and other Government departments and agencies, a greater social cohesion, sense of community safety and well-being can be generated.
Community safety also contributes to an economically viable city. Having a reputation as a safe city leads to increased business investment, an increase of residents and visitors as well as opportunities for positive promotion of the City.
Focussing on community safety as a whole of community and whole of Government concern is the key to providing a safe, inclusive, diverse and enjoyable City for residents, workers and visitors.
This brochure, targeting the general public, summarises some of the key community safety initiatives and programs in the City of Perth. These include the Community Safety Plan, CCTV, ranger services, graffiti removal program, safe taxi ranks, Perth Liquor Accord, Nyoongar patrol, Street Chaplains as well as youth and homeless outreach services.