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Community safety and crime prevention

Safety is at the forefront of everything we do. Find out about crime prevention initiatives and community safety support services.

What is community safety?

Community safety is about creating a sense of community and security, to ensure that everyone feels safe living, working and visiting our City. This is achieved through community involvement, in the development and delivery of targeted initiatives, that improve the quality of life and safety of residents and workers in Canterbury-Bankstown. The overarching aim is to reduce fear as well as incidence of crime and violence.

What is crime prevention?

Crime prevention is the responsibility of all levels of government, law enforcement, private enterprise and the community more broadly, to actively develop and implement strategies, programs and projects to prevent and/or reduce incidence of crime.
Council has a long-standing commitment to reducing crime and as a result, increasing community safety for our residents. We want everyone to feel safe in the area within which they live, work, visit or study.
As part of our commitment to improve and maintain safety for our residents, we have a Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan. The plan outlines Council’s commitment to improving community safety and addressing crime issues within our City

City of Canterbury Bankstown is committed to upholding the Convention on the Rights of the Child and we are continuously working through our Child-Friendly City Action Plan. 

The Child Friendly City initiative is a UNICEF global initiative to ensure the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are an integral part of public policies and programs.

Safety Programs

The Brains Matter Helmet Awareness Program is a free education program centred on the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle. It is specifically aimed at children in Years 3-6 and their parents.

The program is delivered to local primary schools in the Canterbury-Bankstown local government area by paramedics Kobie Shaw and Gerry Pyke. Kobie is keen to share her personal story about her bike accident and recovery. Both Kobie and Gerry volunteer to deliver this program in their free time.

Given the importance of bicycle safety, such a program can provide primary school students with the necessary information to keep them safe while riding a bike by emphasising the importance of wearing a helmet.

For more information or to book a Brains Matter session at your school visit www.brainsmatter.com.au.

The Community Safety Reference Group comprises representatives of Canterbury-Bankstown emergency services, including the Police, SES, Fire + Rescue NSW, as well as representatives of relevant organisations and agencies. We believe that they are best informed to help address community safety and crime-related related issues in our LGA.

The Community Safety Reference Group meets quarterly to review Council initiatives and programs, recommend strategies, and identify and address issues in relation to community safety in our City. The overarching aim of the group is to enhance the quality of life for people living and working in the City of Canterbury Bankstown by taking action to prevent or reduce the incidence of crime and increase safety.

In addition, we donate to key local agencies to implement community safety and crime prevention projects in the areas of child protection and early intervention, domestic and family violence, and drug and alcohol abuse prevention.

These are all areas where Council is committed to making change. 

LOVE BiTES is a nationally recognised Respectful Relationships Education Program for young people aged 15-17 years, developed by NAPCAN.

It consists of two interactive workshops: one on Relationship Violence, and one on Sex and Relationships, followed by creative workshops and community campaigns. The program emphasises the importance of a whole-of-school commitment to respectful relationship education.

LOVE BiTES aims to provide young people with a safe environment to examine, discuss and explore respectful relationships. All Love Bites programming takes a strength-based approach and views young people as active participants who are able to make choices for themselves and their relationships when supported with information and opportunity for
skill development.

LOVE BiTES education is focused on three critical areas for learning:

  • Knowledge: youth-led collaborative learning;
     
  • Attitudes: critical thinking and decision-making; and
     
  • Behaviours: problem solving and communication skills.
     

The overall aims of the programming are to equip young people with the knowledge needed to have respectful relationships, encourage and develop their skills in critical thinking and assist them in being able to problem solve and communicate effectively. When equipped in these areas, NAPCAN believes that young people can make the right choices for themselves and their relationships that are free from violence and abuse.

Canterbury-Bankstown has more than 40 trained Love Bites facilitators who have delivered the program to over 2500 local students over the past 5 years. The full day program is offered for free for local high schools which includes 2 x 1hour 45min sessions and a creative arts session in the afternoon.

Students have the opportunity to develop community campaign posters which can be posted around the school to promote positive messaging about the program's key messages as part of the creative arts component of the program. Love Bites Canterbury-Bankstown has also developed a great relationship with the School of Rap to be able to offer students the opportunity to develop and record a hip hop song about relationship violence and sex and relationships.

Click on the schools below to listen to some of the hip hop songs developed through the Love Bites program.

If you are a teacher and would like the Love Bites program delivered in your school, email the Love Bites Canterbury-Bankstown coordinator to submit your expression of interest

We use accredited Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. Many crimes are opportunistic and happen because the surroundings are conducive to crime. CPTED refers to the creation of an environment that discourages criminal activity, because it is harder for offenders to go undetected. It involves creating clear lines of sight, improving lighting and encouraging pedestrian activity, among many other elements. Considering crime prevention at the earliest stages of designing and building public spaces will help prevent violence and crime, reduce costs and promote perceptions of safety.

CPTED principles can also be applied when maintaining and refurbishing facilities. Safety Audits are closely related to the application of CPTED principles and are an important part of our work. They involve a systematic process used to identify unsafe or frightening aspects of public spaces. Safety Audits are often completed in partnership with the NSW Police and other partners. Appropriate, well-designed landscapes, signage, lighting and supporting infrastructure will help the community to feel safer when using public open spaces, sporting facilities and buildings. It will also ensure pedestrians and cyclists are able to navigate safely.

CPTED principles need to be embedded during the development process of an urban or open space, building or development to ensure successful outcomes and the promotion of a safe community. The following phased actions consist of strategies that need to be considered during each phase of the development to achieve a safer sustainable community. Stakeholder consultation is paramount and needs to be incorporated at every phase.

More information can be found at NSW Police safer by design

The Safer Car Park Program addresses steal from motor vehicle offences by educating the community about the importance of removing valuables from cars when unoccupied.  

Community Safety officers and local police periodically conduct audits in streets or commuter car parks where steal from motor vehicle has been identified as problem in the area. Police and NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) evidence, such as hot spot maps, are used to identify an increase in or consistently high levels of criminal activity at the location.  

During the audit, police and community safety officers will assess whether any items are on display. Police will then record the registration number and then organise for a letter to be sent to the owner, notifying them of the audit and the valuables sighted on the day.

Below are some tips to help you improve vehicle security by parking safe and smart.

Tips for improving your vehicle security include:

  • Park in busy well lit areas
  • Close windows and lock the car   
  • Don't leave valuables on display
  • Pop your keys out of sight
  • Be alert when leaving or returning to your car
  • Don't leave your license and vehicle documents in car

Safety inspections attempt to address anti-social and criminal behaviour in the community. Community Safety officers and local police from the relevant Police Area Command, assess the site in question and recommend ways to improve the built environment to prevent future crime. This process is referred to as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).

CPTED is an approach that centres on prevention by considering space and place.  It attempts to mitigate opportunities of crime by controlling access, demarcating ownership, enabling opportunities to see and be seen, and encouraging ownership and maintenance of area (Zahm 2007: 5).

If you have a concern about safety or crime in our community, you can report your concerns to us through our online form or by calling our Customer Service Centre on 9707 9000.

Recommendations may include trimming trees so that streets are better lit at night, installing signage to prevent loitering or illegal parking, installing additional lighting to improve the ambience and sense of security, or arranging for additional Police patrols at the location.

Remember, in an emergency or if you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 000.

Contact

For more information, or to report a concern about safety or crime in our community, contact Council's Customer Service Centre on 9707 9000.

You can also submit your concerns online using the Customer Service Request Form.

The City of Canterbury Bankstown is committed to addressing community safety in the Local Government Area at every opportunity.

Along with our Anti-theft Number Plate and Safer Car Park programs, our Community Safety and Crime Prevention Officers are running the Stop Sneak Theft Initiative, with support from the National Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.

As part of this, there will be a variety of workshops and resources available to community members through the year, as well as promotions aimed at increasing people’s awareness to better protect themselves from opportunistic crime.

Did you know 7 in 10 cars are stolen with their own keys?

Most of us rely on our cars – whether it is for work, study, driving the kids to school or to engage in social activities. Having a car stolen is stressful, inconvenient, and costly – however it is often easily preventable.

With three simple steps, you can keep your car safe. It’s called POP. LOCK. STOP.

  • Offenders will sneak into homes by taking advantage of unlocked doors and windows.
  • Offenders look for keys left in easily accessible places, such as on a key hook or in a bowl near the door;.
  • People are often at home but unaware when an opportunistic thief enters their home and does a ‘sneak theft’;.
  • In most cases, thieves will actively avoid coming into contact with the those living inside the house.
  • In fact, in 95 per cent of all incidents, there is no confrontation with the homeowner at all.
 
For more information or support email our Community Safety and Crime Prevention Officers at communitysafety@cbcity.nsw.gov.au 

All children must be safely fastened in the correct child car seat for their age and size.​ Fines and demerit points apply for drivers who do not wear a seatbelt or who fail to ensure passengers under 16 years old are properly restrained in seatbelts or approved child car seats.​