Pub­lic fall short on crime fo­rum

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

A free Kar­ratha crime pre­ven­tion fo­rum de­signed to ad­dress pub­lic con­cern over safety in the city area had to be can­celled after no com­mu­nity mem­bers at­tended.

Renowned con­sul­tant David Turner, who works in­ter­na­tion­ally on crime pre­ven­tion through en­vi­ron­men­tal de­sign, was due to lead fo­rums for Kar­ratha res­i­dents on the even­ing of Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 18, and for busi­nesses and not-for­profit stake­hold­ers at an all-day ses­sion the next day.

But the Tues­day ses­sion had to be can­celled after no one at­tended, de­spite 15 peo­ple pre-reg­is­ter­ing and the event be­ing widely ad­ver­tised in the two weeks be­fore­hand.

The fo­rums were or­gan­ised and funded by the City of Kar­ratha’s Safer Com­mu­ni­ties Part­ner­ship in re­sponse to pub­lic feed­back in the 2016 Com­mu­nity Sur­vey, in which res­i­dents cited com­mu­nity safety as one of their ma­jor con­cerns about liv­ing in the area.

Mayor Peter Long said it was dis­ap­point­ing no one be­sides stake­hold­ers had at­tended an event held in re­sponse to com­mu­nity de­mand, es­pe­cially after it had been well ad­ver­tised, in­clud­ing on Face­book, where “most of the con­cerns about com­mu­nity safety are raised”.

“The City re­ceives a lot of feed­back in our an­nual com­mu­nity sur­vey and through our Face­book page that we should do more in the com­mu­nity safety space,” he said.

“A large part of the City’s role in com­mu­nity safety is sup­port­ing the work of po­lice in ed­u­cat­ing res­i­dents about crime pre­ven­tion.

“The work­shops with David Turner were held to give peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to hear crime pre­ven­tion tips for around their homes from an ex­pert in the field.”

The Wed­nes­day ses­sion went ahead with about 30 at­ten­dees from lo­cal busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Mr Turner said when CPTED was done prop­erly “the ad­van­tages are quite huge to a com­mu­nity”, but good use of se­cu­rity de­vices such as CCTV needed to be com­ple­mented by peo­ple, who were “the main in­gre­di­ent” in crime pre­ven­tion.

“What you need is peo­ple on the ground act­ing as the eyes and ears, re­port­ing back, look­ing and see­ing what’s wrong, iden­ti­fy­ing risk,” he said. “They may work with se­cu­rity guards, they may work with cam­eras, but cer­tainly the myth of hav­ing those by them­selves doesn’t work.”

Mr Turner said com­mu­nity ap­a­thy was not an un­com­mon prob­lem in the crime pre­ven­tion field and he had seen fo­rums can­celled for lack of at­ten­dance a few times”.

“Un­for­tu­nately when it comes down to the end of the day, a lot of those peo­ple (with con­cerns) don’t turn up or want to ex­press their views,” he said.

“If they won’t help them­selves, it’s re­ally kind of hard to do that for them.”

CPTED is one of the key strate­gies of the Safer Com­mu­ni­ties Part­ner­ship.

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