Council aims to keep us safe

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Penrith City Council will soon be implementing a new Community Safety Plan to ensure residents continue to feel secure in their own homes and safe in public spaces.

The third plan of its kind, Community Safety Coordinator for Council, Allison Kyriakakis said that the draft plan has been developed in consultation with community groups such as the local police, through surveys and community consultation.

“The plan gives an overview of the crime trends in Penrith based on statistics from BOCSAR and supplemented by the police. Overall crime is either stable or trending downwards, except for sexual assaults which are up 10 per cent and harassment, which is up eight per cent,” she said.

Amazingly, according to data from Council’s graffiti hotline, the number of graffiti incidents has decreased by 30 per cent from 2007 to 2011.

According to a survey completed by over 500 participants, the main safety concerns of residents are feeling safe in public places.

“The plan identifies three key areas that we are focusing on; public space offences, domestic violence and malicious damage,” Ms Kyriakakis said.

Strategies such as mobile CCTV cameras, green screening walls that might potentially be vandalised, and maintaining lighting are all strategies that will be continued.

One of the new aspects of the plan is looking at innovative technologies, such as sensor lighting, to combat antisocial behaviour.

“People are not going to feel very confident about committing a crime if a bright light is suddenly shone on them and catches them unaware,” she said.

Council will also actively support culturally appropriate domestic and family violence resources, and assist the Nepean Domestic Violence Network.

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