Safety summit “positive step” in listening to the community

Safety summit “positive step” in listening to the community
Brendan Rees

A much-anticipated safety summit has been held bringing together the City of Melbourne, Victoria Police, residents’ groups, and stakeholders to address various issues facing the city.

More than 50 people attended the August 19 summit at Town Hal – with safety infrastructure, safety at night, community policing, and the Connect Respect program among the issues discussed.

The Connect Respect program, which is delivered by the Council to Homeless Persons and the City of Melbourne, helps businesses build their understanding of and support their response to homelessness in the city.  

“Community safety is a priority for us at the City of Melbourne,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said, adding the summit aimed to “facilitate safer neighbourhoods for everyone and agree on actions to be taken”.

 

“We heard from Victoria Police and our own city safety team, as well as broader questions and feedback from our presidents of residents’ community groups,” she said.

 

“We’re looking forward to continuing these discussions and working together towards agreed outcomes.”

The Lord Mayor said the council would investigate increasing lighting outside commercial buildings, as well as making it easier for building owners to install external CCTV cameras.

The council would also find ways of better communicating safety programs it had in place, she said.

The Parkville Association’s president Rob Moore said the summit was a “positive step” in listening to the community.

“It’s amazing how many different challenges there are depending on where you live in Melbourne,” he said.

He said encouraging people to lock up their bicycles and reminding people not to leave valuables in cars were measures the association was taking to reduce the amount of theft incidents.

Mr Moore also noted the step up in police patrols in Carlton had been a “great result” after Victoria Police launched Operation Velocita in July, which is aimed at ensuring the community is safe through a highly visible presence.

The East Melbourne Group (EMG) also attended, saying it was an “excellent initiative” by the City of Melbourne.

“They should be congratulated for bringing together the concerned parties,” the EMG’s planning convenor Greg Bisinella said.

 “EMG raised the issue safety in our parks, given the large number of parks in and surrounding East Melbourne.”

Mr Bisinella said the council pointed to improved lighting at Fitzroy Gardens and promised to investigate other initiatives to make their suburb a safe place to live.

“Increased cameras are supported by the EMG and indeed all parties involved at the summit.” •

 

Photo by Murray Enders.

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