Building a safer, more welcoming city for all

Building a safer, more welcoming city for all

The City of Sydney is working closely with NSW Police to make Sydney a safer and more liveable city.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said recent violent incidents on George Street were a reminder that the work being done to make our streets safer is absolutely vital.

“We all agree that late night violence, often fuelled by alcohol and drug use, remains too common in Sydney. But while more work needs to be done, the City of Sydney is making real progress,” the Lord Mayor said.

Recent work by the City to increase public safety includes:

  • Upgrading the City’s 87-camera CCTV network with new cameras and fibre optics;
  • Increasing alcohol-free zones to 320 streets, parks and other public places to discourage anti-social behaviour;
  • Precinct Ambassadors patrolling late-night summer hotspots;
  • Food trucks, small bars, public art and other activities to liven up hidden corners; and
  • Replacing 6,450 conventional lights with brighter LED lights.

The Safe City Unit also has ongoing educational campaigns to promote safety while encouraging visitors, workers and residents to report crime and take precautions to protect themselves and their property.

Regular Good Neighbourhood BBQs bring people together informally to start new friendships and hear from the NSW Police and City staff about personal and household safety.

The City’s sharps management program keeps tens of thousands of needles and other potentially dangerous material out of public places.

While official crime statistics are falling across Sydney, the City continues to work hard to ensure locals and visitors alike feel safe and are more willing to go out and enjoy what Sydney has to offer after dark.

Surveys conducted at the City’s Good Neighbourhood barbeques last year found:

  • 85 per cent felt most people in their community can be trusted;
  • 79 per cent are very satisfied or satisfied with the appearance of their community; and
  • 93 per cent were optimistic about the future of the community.

“These are very positive results and we will be repeating the surveys to track our progress on raising feelings of safety and connection in the community,” said Suzie Matthews, the City’s Manager, Business and Safety.

“By international standards, Sydney is a safe city and recent figures show it is getting safer, with the rates of key crimes trending downward. However, there is always room for improvement.

“We work closely with NSW Police to keep our streets safe, we enforce alcohol-free zones and we have installed security cameras which police say are a useful crime deterrent.

“We’ve also been working tirelessly to improve safety and strengthen community ties, particularly in areas that have had a bad reputation in the past. We know fear of crime can have a real impact on people regardless of the crime statistics, so it’s important we ensure people know the facts and feel safe.”

New data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) shows the City of Sydney is a safer place than it was 10 or 20 years ago. But people’s perceptions of the risk of crime have yet to catch up with this new and safer reality.

Reduced crime rates from 2010 to 2012 in the City of Sydney include stealing from vehicles (17.9 per cent reduction), stealing from a person (5.2 per cent), and malicious damage to property (7.1 per cent).

“We know that in NSW, people overestimate their risks of being a victim of crime and the vast majority of people wrongly think crime is going up,” said BOCSAR’s director, Dr Don Weatherburn.

“Measures like those introduced by the City of Sydney could help to reduce people’s fear of crime.”

The City’s work on building a sense of safety and connection to the community complements Open Sydney, the City’s long-term strategy for developing Sydney’s night-time economy.

Open Sydney sets out a roadmap for an inviting, safe and diverse city at night, with more retail, food, cultural activities and entertainment that is appealing to all sorts of people and drives strong economic growth.

For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Rohan Sullivan, phone 02 9246 7298 or 0414 617 086, or email rsullivan@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin, 0477 310 149, or jlarkin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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