City strategy to help cut crime

CCTV footage of a group of youths on Midland’s streets at night.
CCTV footage of a group of youths on Midland’s streets at night.

The move comes after recent community feedback that revealed safety on the streets was the highest area of importance for many residents.

The latest statistics from WA Police for the East Metropolitan Region show the number of offences committed by direct physical harm or force being applied to another person is now the third-largest category for police work, trailing only theft and property damage.

There have been more than 200 offences against people each month across the region from July of last year until the end of May (the latest figures available).

The city will use the Community Safety Plan (2013-17) to prioritise areas for future action to help detect and prevent crime.

A draft of the plan followed months of extensive consultation when the city heard from more than 140 community representatives at 10 community workshops, as well as many more through an online survey.

At its meeting on September 25, councillors approved the plan and released it for public comment for one month.

Four key priority areas are identified in the plan as the focus for improving safety across the City of Swan. They include:

– Measures to detect and deter crime.

– Measures to address the underlying causes of crime.

– Addressing safety issues related to personal and community responsibility in local neighbourhoods.

– Increased co-ordination and responsiveness of agencies to address community safety issues.

Among other key objectives, the plan calls for the council to back the community’s demands for a greater police presence across the region, in particular in the Midland CBD and other hotspots, such as train stations and shopping precincts after dark.

A key argument given by residents for better crime detection and deterrence programs is the perceived increase in the incidence of anti-social behaviour, drunkenness and public nuisance, graffiti damage and drug abuse in public places.

To compensate for a recognised limitation on the level of street patrols and police responsiveness, residents favoured increasing CCTV surveillance in crime hotspots, such as public parks and facilities.

The city’s community safety business unit will have primary responsibility for monitoring and reviewing the program, which will be implemented through the development of an annual action plan.

A summary of the plan’s achievements will be presented to the council each year and posted on the city’s website.

To view a full copy of the Community Safety Plan |(2013-17), go online to tinyurl.com/ogfskhw