Community safety in the region is a top priority of Ballarat Divisional Commander Superintendent Andrew Allen.
Commenting on claims safety perception in the city was at an all-time low, Superintendent Allen said data showed community confidence in Ballarat was more than 94 per cent.
“We constantly review our survey data and connect strongly with our key stakeholders to identify any issues of concern and respond accordingly,” Superintendent Allen said.
“Across the Ballarat police division, we take pride in our stakeholder engagement partnerships and I am pleased to state that at the end of the June 2016 quarter, Ballarat police had a community confidence level of 94.2 per cent, which is over 5 per cent above the state average, according to NSCSP Survey Data.
“Similarly, the percentage of people who felt safe on public transport during the day was 85.4 per cent across Ballarat, over 10 per cent above the state average.”
Superintendent Allen refuted claims Ballarat people were arming themselves with weapons to protect themselves against criminals.
“… only one aggravated burglary has involved a weapon and that crime has been solved. There has not been any reports of (people arming themsleves) occurring,” Superintendent Allen said.
“I suspect (the vigilante claim) is a bit of hype coming from Melbourne areas such as Caroline Springs. We have no evidence of any such activity occurring and I can tell you it is not happening here.”
Superintendent Allen admitted a “cohort” of young offenders were responsible for a number of property crime offences across Ballarat, however, he stressed there were a number of proactive youth crime programs police and partner agencies were involved in. “Many of these have been processed and put before the courts.
“We do proactively target areas which are attracted to young people who may appear to be anti-social, but just hang out a lot of the time. McDonalds at Bakery Hill is one such location and police keep on top of this and other areas.”
A system of CCTV cameras within the CBD have been an important policing tool in Ballarat.
The network of Safe City CCTVs give Ballarat police a “real time” version of any issues in the CBD and police respond accordingly, Superintendent Allen said. “These cameras have been a boon for community safety and are used day in day out from the police station.”
Recently introduced bicycle patrols in both Bridge Mall and Little Bridge Street, as well as the Wendouree shopping precinct, have brought really positive comments to police from the public.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.