Police address hotspot areas

Rising crime isa major concern for Ballaratresidents who see crime control as a significantissue in the city, a survey revealed.
Nanjing Night Net

Ballarat CityCouncil and police have moved to assure residents steps are being taken to curb crime and target known hotspots.

It comes after an independent councilperception survey revealed 71 per cent of respondents held at least one concern about living in the city–including increased crime,lack of employment opportunities andhousing costs. A major concern in the surveywas crime would continue to spiral out of control as the population soared.

Ballarat Superintendent Andrew Allen said the new Ballarat West police station had been built to ensure police had an increased presence in the city’s key growth area.He said police were working “hand in hand” with the council to curb crime.

“Inspector Bruce Thomas sits on the community safety advisory committee and it is one of the ways that we actually check in with our stakeholders,” Superintendent Allen said.

“(The committee) allows us to get a feeling of any perceptions of crime and other public disorder. The whole reason for the police station at BallaratWest in its location is to have a presence in a growth corridor.”

He said an increased visible police presence combined with covert operations to identify drug trafficking had led to a significant drop in aggravated burglaries.

Bridge Mall centre manager John Marios said CCTV had led to a major decrease in the area previously plagued by criminal activity.

But Mr Mariosmaintained opportunistic shoplifting continued to a have a significant impact on the livelihood of local traders.

Superintendent Allen said police surveyed community members to gauge areas of concern so they could effectively target crime hotspots. He said police were still working to change community behaviour to ensure residents locked their cars to reduce the likelihood of theft. Mayor Des Hudson said council was determined to work with agenciesto ensure community perception increased and people felt Ballarat was a safecity.

Cr Hudson said major employment projects in the Ballarat West zone would soon create 9000 jobs in the city while the council was still working with government organisations to try to bring a large government office to the Ballarat CBD.

Recent Crime Statistics Agency data showed crimein the city’s major streets has plunged over the past five years as police continue to deploy more resources into the busy area.

Data collected between April 2011 and March 2016 from 15 major streets showedthe number of recorded incidences showed a 23 per cent overall decrease.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.