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SSC Newspaper : October 2011
Strathfield Scene 5 news www.ourstrathfield.com.au By Bernadette Chua Abold new plan involving as much as $250,000 worth of projects over four years to combat Strathfield’s street crime has gone on public exhibition. Among the ideas are “crime watch walking groups”, which would see locals populate crime hot spots. Another suggestion promotes the idea of residents holding community events, such as barbecues, in high- crime locations to deter street crime and promote a sense of community. Strathfield Council’s 43-page draft prevention strategy for 2011-14 outlines a series of measures to tackle the high rate of crime, particularly street robberies around Strathfield railway station. The council says while not all of the anti-crime schemes will go ahead, the strategy does underline the importance of community engagement programs. The Attorney-General’s Department has given the municipality a grant to research new surveillance cameras and more street lighting. Figures show that for the 12 months to June 2010 Strathfield ranks first in the state for stealing from a person. Of the 256 incidents that took place in the inner west, which takes in six councils, 45 per cent happened in the Strathfield LGA. Strathfield station has been identified as the area’s main crime hotspot. Most robberies on the streets of Strathfield involve distracted commuters using portable devices such as iPhones. The draft report has three main planks: a Keeping Safe and Thinking Smart program; public lighting; and stronger community engagement. “The Keeping Safe and Thinking Smart program is about engaging with the community and to make sure they feel safe,” says council’s community safety officer Jacob Stewart. “It’s about letting people know about the issues so they don’t feel like victims in their own area.” The council will work with EnergyAustralia on a $20,000 plan to improve lighting in hot spots identified by police. A further $6000 will be used for signage around crime spots such as commuter car parks and pedestrian areas to raise awareness of personal safety. Stewart says he will work on community engagement programs to improve awareness among residents, businesses and schools in the area. Nearby councils are also in the picture because “crime doesn’t stop at our border”, Stewart says. Other partners include the police, EnergyAustralia, the State Transit Authority and various consulates. The report also suggests offering personal safety educational sessions as well as training to equip small business owners to deter hold-ups and better protect their property and employees. Bold plan to curb crime wave Charles Casuscelli RFD MP Member for Strathfield Saturday 15 October between 10.00am and 12 noon. Please feel free to come and see me to discuss any state government issues. If you aren’t able to make it on the day, please feel free to visit me at my: Office: Shop 1, 54 Burwood Road, Burwood NSW 2134 | Phone: (02) 9747 1711 | Fax: (02) 9747 6054 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Authorised by Charles Casuscelli RFD MP. This advertisement was produced using parliamentary entitlements. ADveRTiseMenT Eco festival for Strathfield Crocodiles, pythons and lessons in sus- tainability will all be part of the show when the 2011 Cooks River Eco Fes- tival comes to Strathfield next month. A concert, children’s events and spe- cial classes in growing backyard vege- tables will also be among the attrac- tions at the festival, which will be held at Freshwater Park on November 13 between 10am and 3pm. This is the first time Strathfield Council is hosting the festival, which was started by volunteers from the Cooks River Valley Association in the early 1990s as a way to get the commu- nity involved in the care of the river. The festival will be a green-energy event, with all power coming from re- newable energy sources: solar and 100 per cent biodiesel generators. All serv- ice containers will be made from com- postable/biodegradable materials, and all waste will be recycled or composted. There will be workshops on growing food in small spaces, and sustainability in the home. Refreshments will be available from an organic-coffee cart and a solar- powered ice cream trailer. The festival is being supported by the Cooks River Alliance, which comprises eight councils in the river catchment area: Ashfield, Bankstown, Canterbury, City of Sydney, Hurstville, Marrickville, Rockdale and Strathfield. It’s about letting people know about the issues so they don’t feel like victims in their own area. have your say on the plan to defeat street crime, or tell us your story if you have been a victim at www.ourstrathfield.com.au Many victims of Strathfield’s street crime are young people, and reaching them is one of the biggest challenges. Figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics show people between the ages of 15 and 24 are the main targets of robbery, many of them overseas students. Strathfield Council is proposing to launch an innovative film festival in conjunction with Youth Week 2012 and assisted by schools and colleges. It will encourage young groups to create their own movie with the theme “Keeping Safe and Thinking Smart” . Budding Baz Luhrmanns can win the chance of having their film shown at a special screening. The report also suggests spending funds on advertising on Facebook and Twitter, and developing an iPhone application to reduce the risk of being robbed. Foreign- language campaigns will be also run. Information sessions and the development of teaching resources in local schools, open community forums signage and personal safety classes are also on the list of proposals the public can give their reaction to. Film challenge to get young thinking about street safety •Strathfield Council is offering lock subsidies for residents who don’t have secure deadlocks. Pensioners and repeat victims can receive locks free. Residents in crime hotspots can receive up to 50% subsidy while others get a 25% subsidy. Residents must complete a security audit and registration form. Call 9748 9999 or visit www. strathfield.nsw.gov.au .