DERELICT buildings on the east end of Beaufort Street in Inglewood have been identified as one of the keys to ‘designing out crime’ in the area.
A Curtin University report this week looking at reducing crime and the fear of crime on Beaufort Street between First Avenue and Salisbury Street revealed while it was relatively safe, some respondents were still worried.
The main concerns included being robbed, the level of graffiti, vandalism and retail theft.
Fifty-seven sections of the street, its side streets and laneways were examined, with 133 residents and users, 30 businesses and 59 Night Market attendees surveyed.
Curtin University urban and regional planning lecturer Paul Cozens said derelict sites needed to be addressed.
“When there are no lights on and the doors are locked up, there’s a knock on effect,” he said.
Inglewood on Beaufort chair Damien Giudici said the report produced empirical evidence to back up word-of-mouth and gut feeling.
“While Inglewood’s crime statistics are pretty average in a metropolitan context, with a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) report in hand we’re more confident of where to invest our time and resources,” he said.
Mr Giudici said the eastern end of the area surveyed was a particular hotspot for antisocial behaviour.
“There’s a lack of respect for public spaces – you see it when the area looks unloved,” he said.
Inglewood on Beaufort approached Maylands MLA Lisa Baker after seeing progress in Maylands after the area’s own CPTED report, and Ms Baker secured $10,000 funding for the work through the Local Projects Local Jobs initiative.
“This guide ties into place activation measures already taking place in the town centre, and sets out fantastic opportunities for the further development of Inglewood,” she said.
The report was officially presented to the City of Stirling on Monday, with recommendations including improved laneway lighting, potentially installing CCTV, pocket parks, urban art and creative uses for empty buildings.
Mr Giudici said Inglewood on Beaufort had already started to implement some streetscape improvements, but said the City could be advocates for the area and push owners of derelict sites to do something about them.
Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin said the council would be taking the report “very seriously”.
“We look forward to seeing it implemented and being part of it,” he said.