Public fall short on crime forum
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.