Mindset on crime challenged

At a recent meeting, it was recommended councillors approve the release of Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan 2014-2018 for community consultation.

However, Mr Pickard requested the plan be referred back so the strategic community reference group could consider a ‘towards zero’ philosophy.

He said the plan was ‘an extension of business as usual’ and he thought it would be appropriate to see if it could be a ‘towards zero’ strategy that challenged the mindset of community safety and crime prevention and instilled an increased level of responsibility to contribute towards the reduction of crime.

‘It definitely will present its own challenges. No local government authority in Australia has adopted a ‘towards zero’ crime strategy,’ he said.

He also said he was concerned with the growing expectation that local government should be playing a bigger role in preventing crime.

He said that was the core business of the police.

‘I think a ‘towards zero’ aspiration cannot be achieved by increasing resources in the police service or City Watch but can only be achieved with thorough engagement from our community,’ he said.

The opportunity to engage the community in a crime reduction strategy that shifted and refocused the emphasis on to people to consider what role they could play in reducing crime in the streets and in the suburbs should be explored to achieve the goal of ‘towards zero’, the mayor felt.