- Project name: Keep it Close
- Organisation: City of Stonnington
- Grant fund: Community Safety Fund
- Grant amount: $5865
- Co-contribution: $9845
- Project partners: Local police & local traders in the Chapel Street precinct
The Keep it Close theft awareness campaign was created to encourage people to keep their valuables close to avoid theft in the busy Chapel Street retail and entertainment precinct.
This came after police reported an increase in the theft of small items such as handbags, mobile phones and wallets in the area. Theft of this kind has an impact on perceptions of safety for residents, workers and visitors to the municipality and can be detrimental for retailers and tourism.
The campaign was a partnership between the City of Stonnington and Victoria Police involving advertising and proactive policing to raise community awareness of thefts of small items, especially from cafes, restaurants, bars and late night venues.
Council was responsible for campaign management and the development of promotional materials, and police liaised with local business to engage traders in the program and distribute posters, postcards and handbag hangers (hooks that clip on to tables). These went out to more than 30 businesses within the precinct as well as the Liquor Accord groups representing some of the licenced venues.
Posters and postcards were displayed in council service centres in Prahran, Malvern and Tooronga, as well as Prahran Library and Prahran Town Hall.
The campaign was also promoted through council websites, the local media and via the Chapel Street Information Kiosks.
During the campaign period there was a steady decrease in crime ranging from 15 per cent in the first month to 38 per cent by the third month. Police reported that the campaign, together with local policing strategies, helped to reduce theft over the three-month campaign period. The council have said it intends to run the campaign on a regular basis.