Police take direct line to hear residents’ major concerns

PROACTIVE: Inspector Dan Davison and Sergeant Todd Sparkman speak to community members at the train station on Tuesday morning.

PROACTIVE: Inspector Dan Davison and Sergeant Todd Sparkman speak to community members at the train station on Tuesday morning.

Ballarat Police members may have surprised morning commuters on V/Line trains as they roamed the carriages handing out surveys and encouraging residents to fill out online forms on Tuesday.

Ballarat’s Acting Superintendent, Inspectors and the Proactive Policing Unit have taken an active role in the Community Safety Network project.

As part of a week-long initiative, the handing out of surveys provides an opening for community members to share their major safety concerns with police officers face to face.

Ballarat Police members outside an information stall set up at the train station.

Ballarat Police members outside an information stall set up at the train station.

Ballarat Acting Superintendent Trevor Cornwill said talking directly with the public would enable police members to find out what was working well and how to work with residents to address their concerns.

When The Courier met with Acting Superintendent Cornwill at Ballarat Railway Station, the police members had returned from riding the 6.44am V/Line train to Bacchus Marsh. 

“It was a fantastic response this morning,” he said.

“There were probably about 500 people on the train and we’ve collected a couple of hundred surveys that people wrote out for us then and there.”

Acting Superintendent Cornwill said police had received feedback such as residents not feeling safe at night and even some intelligence on crimes.

“That’s where we get most of our information from is the public, they are our eyes and ears in the community, they see a lot of what is going on,” Acting Superintendent Cornwill said.

“Whatever feedback we get from them we can act upon and work towards making Ballarat a safer community.”

The police will repeat the exercise at Wendouree Station on Thursday, as well as have information stalls set up at shopping centres including Stockland Wendouree, Central Square and Bridge Mall. 

Acting Superintendent Cornwill said the next step would be to collate the information and pass it on to the Department of Justice and Regulation. 

Police are also looking to hold a community forum next year.  

Police will be in the community at these times: 

  • Wednesday December 6
  • 10am-3pm
  • Stockland Wendouree Shopping Centre
  • Thursday December 7 
  • 6am-12pm
  • Wendouree Railway Station
  • Friday December 8
  • 12pm-7pm
  • Central Square Shopping Centre
  • Saturday December 9
  • 9am-2pm
  • Bridge Mall (Grenville Street end)