Residents Seek Reassurance From Councils About Crime Prevention
When crime rates within local communities rise, residents look to the people who theyâ€™ve elected to represent them for reassurance. When crime rates rise Councils need to investigate why this is happening. The first step in this process is to take a look at the community safety initiatives they have put in place and assess their responsiveness to increasing rates of crime, or if additional action is necessary to keep the community and its residents protected.
When local councils analyse crime prevention it is in the interest of the community for this information to be publicly available. Reports in local newspapers showing real statistics, and the strategies being used by authorities to combat them, provide the community with a sense of confidence that something is being done to increase their safety.
Local newspapers have a habit of dramatising events such as petty crime and the public perception can be out of alignment with what is actually happening out in the community.
Local authorities can address apprehension the residents may have by providing a platform where residents can raise their concerns, allowing councils and authorities to respond with accuracy and confidence in the information they give out.
1. What security measures are already in place?
The first step is to identify what is currently being done.
To maintain public safety local Councils have a variety of solutions they can implement; these include environmental designs, human capital investments, and electronic monitoring with camera security and CCTV monitoring.Â Each solution helps to address crime in a different way and a combination of all is the best to ensure community security is maintained.
2. Community perceptions of Council action
Resident perceptions greatly affect the way Councils respond to criminal activity and community safety. Councils must seek to understand how the community â€˜feelsâ€™ about crime rates, and asses if these are justified when compared to the actual statistics.
Council response to crime may not always alleviate residentsâ€™ concerns which means additional steps must be taken to communicate with residents the preventative action that is taking place to combat crime. From here councils can better determine how residents feel and determine if the steps they have taken are enough to keep the community safe and happy.
Â 3. Is the crime response successful?
Careful assessment of the security weaknesses within the community must take place before anything else to ensure that the measures put in place effectively deter and prevent criminal activity.
For Councils, this critical step can be the difference between meeting objectives and community expectations, versus worsening community perceptions as a result of implementing ineffective solutions that cost constituents money in raised taxes.
4.What are the side effects of the communityâ€™s crime prevention activities?
Crime prevention programs can have unanticipated effects on the community residents which makes it important for Councils to assess their crime prevention activity to ensure they are meeting both the expectations and the needs of their constituents.
Local Councils should offer a platform which acts as an ongoing open channel of communication between council and constituents. Residents have a right to have their voice heard and providing the space for them to communicate their feedback, concerns and questions can assist Councils to assess their performance and continue to meet and address community expectations in the long term.