City seeks feedback on safety

The City of Sydney is inviting residents, workers and visitors to fill out a short online survey http://sydneyyoursay.com.au/SafeCity  to identify safety concerns in the community and come up with ways to keep crime rates falling, reduce the perception of crime and strengthen community ties.

High level results will be examined by key law and order, public housing, transport and business stakeholders at a city safety summit being chaired by Lord Mayor Clover Moore in early December.

The survey is open to the public until 22 November and along with other crime related data will be used to develop the City of Sydney’s latest Safe City Strategy – a blueprint for the City and partner agencies to deal with safety and crime issues across central Sydney and residential villages.

“NSW Police are responsible for law and order, but the City has an important role to play in creating an environment where people feel safe,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’re already doing a lot with improved LED street lighting, CCTV security camera network and initiatives such as our late-night precinct ambassadors in George Street and Kings Cross and our Open program, which is activating public space with more options for a broader cross section of people at night.

“We’re also working with NSW Police the NSW Government and the Thomas Kelly Foundation to improve safety and reduce fear of crime in our late-night entertainment areas.

“But we want to hear directly from the community about their experiences, what they think the issues are and how we can make people feel safer in our city at all times of the day and night.

“The results of this survey will feed into our Safe City Strategy and become part of the coordinated approach we are working on with the NSW Government, Police, businesses, residents and other groups.”

The online http://sydneyyoursay.com.au/SafeCity survey takes about 15 minutes and is open to anyone who lives in the City of Sydney area or travels there for work or to visit. The survey asks people how safe they feel in the city, what sort of things make them feel unsafe, if they have personally experienced crime, and if they believe certain activities are a problem in the city.

The City and the NSW Government are working in partnership with the Thomas Kelly Foundation and the independent non-partisan research organisation newDemocracy Foundation to develop new approaches to alcohol related violence.

Through this, a Citizens’ Policy Jury of 43 people, not aligned to any political party, lobbyist group or interest group will be convened for three months and will be tasked with coming up with at least five recommendations to ensure we have a vibrant and safe Sydney nightlife.

“This survey is designed to give us strong data that can be used to direct our programs where they are most needed,” said Suzie Matthews, Manager, City Business and Safety.

“While the rates of key crime categories are trending downward, the experts tell us that people’s perceptions of safety do not always match the safer reality.

“We’re doing things that directly prevent crime, but it’s also about the look and feel of the city, and that includes things like bright lighting in parks and plazas, cleaning up rubbish and graffiti, and creating a diverse, vibrant nightlife.”

The new strategy is being drawn up with the help of Australian Institute of Criminology and will update the City’s current Safe City initiatives.

The Safe City team is made up of specialists in crime prevention, social housing, drugs and alcohol as well as the sex industry. The new strategy will outline the City’s commitment to crime prevention, community safety, drugs, alcohol and sex industry management.

Recent work by the City to increase public safety includes:

  • Upgrading the city-wide, 87-camera CCTV network;
  • Alcohol-free zones in 320 streets, parks and other public places;
  • 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 survey will be followed by wide-ranging consultation with the community and key stakeholders including public housing residents, small business leaders and NSW Police, NSW Health and Transport for NSW. A draft Safe City Strategy is expected to be ready for public exhibition early next year.

 

For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Matthew Moore on 0431 050 963, or email mmoore@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jon Larkin on 0477 310 149 or jlarkin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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