Cessnock Local Government Area Crime Prevention Plan
On the 17 June 2009, Cessnock City Council resolved to adopt the Cessnock Local Government Area Crime Prevention Plan (July 2009 - June 2012).
In summary, the Cessnock Local Government Area Crime Prevention Plan listed eight action strategies and all were developed for the purpose of reducing the incidence of Malicious Property Damage within the Cessnock Local Government Area.
With the Plan now expired, Council has undertaken ‘An Evaluation Study for the Cessnock Local Government Area Crime Prevention Plan (2009 to 2012). The Study provides a thorough analysis as to the outcomes of the Crime Prevention Plan.
The Study highlights that the Cessnock Local Government Area Crime Prevention Plan achieved many project outputs. They are listed and analysed further in the Study, however to summaries they include:
- Development of the ‘Community Hall Application Booking Form’. The Booking Form enquires about alcohol and liquor licensing for events proposed to be held in locally owned Council Halls. The application form also requires the hirer to inform the Local Area Command (NSW Police) of the event.
- Development of a ‘Consultation Protocol for the Referral of Development Applications to the NSW Police by Cessnock City Council’.
- An outdoor activity trailer was purchased by the Cessnock Youth Centre and Outreach Service. The activity trailer aims to deliver youth activities to young people who reside within smaller townships of the Cessnock Local Government for example Millfield, Paxton, Ellalong, Greta and Branxton.
- As a result of a Community Safety Audit for Rotary Park Kurri Kurri, Cessnock City Council installed a Public Reserve Offence sign within the park.
- In partnership with the Roads and Maritime Service (formerly Road and Traffic Authority) a ‘Late Night Transport Card’ was developed. The transport card lists the contact details for late night transport services and includes late night licensed premises courtesy bus services and taxi providers within the townships of Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.
- The study components for the Crime Prevention Plan were completed and presented to Council November 2010 and April 2011. The aim of the Study was twofold and included strategies for reducing pedestrian traffic travelling from licensed premises to residential areas within the Central Cessnock area particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. Secondly, it included researching the benefits, limitations and costs of Closed Circuit Television for the Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Central Business Districts.
- Following a safety audit of Turner Park, Cessnock a funding application was submitted to the Department of Attorney General and Justice for improved lighting. As a result of this grant application, Cessnock City Council was awarded a small, partial funding amount of $6,000. The $6,000 was used to improve lighting near to the Cessnock Youth Centre and Outreach Service, Turner Park, Cessnock.
- A Security and Safety Exhibition was held in a local licensed club auditorium on the 26 May 2010 and was attended by 55 people.
- The NSW Police Crime Prevention Brochure was sent to 19,968 households and commercial premises within the Cessnock Local Government Area. The Brochure educated residents on how to protect their property and the importance of reporting crime.
- 5,700 copies of the ‘Reporting Crime’ high gloss fridge magnet were circulated to local community groups and via the print media.
- ‘Smart Choices’, a youth crime prevention education program designed by Cessnock City Council, Cessnock Youth Centre and Outreach Service and the Central Hunter Local Area Command (NSW Police), was rolled out to 418 students across the four high schools within the Cessnock Local Government Area.
- In March 2011, after successfully running the program with local high schools, ‘Smart Choices’ was presented at a national Australian Institute of Criminology Conference held in Melbourne, ‘Young people, risk and resilience: The challenge of alcohol, drugs and violence’. The paper was titled ‘Smart Choices: an early intervention initiative between NSW Police and Cessnock City Council’.
- April’s Fool, (written by David Burton) was delivered to high schools within the Cessnock Local Government Area. The theatre performance had a focus on the dangers of alcohol and illicit drug use. In total, 1065 students, teachers and parents attended an April’s Fool performance. In November 2012, ‘April’s Fool’, was awarded an Arts and Cultural Award from the Local Government and Shires Association. The award was for the category ‘Participation in the Arts, Performing Arts’.
- A pilot project was delivered in partnership with Juvenile Justice and Cessnock City Council and sought to involve young people (who had committed a crime) in the removal of graffiti at designated locations within Kurri Kurri.
With the Crime Prevention Plan endorsed by the Department of Justice and Attorney General, Council recently received $44,000 worth of grant funding to implement a project at Margaret Johns Park, Kurri Kurri (Skate Park area). The project aims to encourage natural surveillance by installing durable, crime resistant street furniture (seats), a vandal proof permanent shade structure, a vandal resistant water bubbler and solar lighting within the Skate Park area. Given the funding was announced February 2013 the project is in the process of being implemented.