Empowering Victorian communities to tackle the causes of crime is the cornerstone of a new approach to crime prevention announced by the Victorian Government.
Launched by the Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins, the Crime Prevention Strategy provides a framework for government to partner with communities and key organisations to deliver local solutions that address the underlying causes of crime and improve safety for all Victorians.
The Strategy will help to reduce the significant economic, social and personal costs of crime, and is part of the Victorian Government’s broader work in health, housing and employment to support communities to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the heart of the Strategy is supporting and investing in Victorian communities to innovate and address issues at a local level to prevent crime before it occurs. It recognises that communities hold the expertise, knowledge and ideas to design the solutions that are right for them.
The Building Safer Communities Program is a key initiative under the Strategy and includes grants and a series of community forums across Victoria. The program’s first round of grant funding awarded $4.4 million to support 16 innovative projects to prevent crime and improve community safety.
The types of projects to receive funding include CBD night safety initiatives for women and gender diverse people, youth mentoring programs, and security upgrades such as new lighting and CCTV for public spaces.
Building Safer Communities Forums are being held in communities across Victoria where there are opportunities to tackle social challenges and crime and improve community safety. Four highly successful forums have already been held in Brimbank, Hume, Ballarat and Melton, and further forums will be delivered in 2021 and 2022.
The Strategy will support effective, collaborative efforts to improve outcomes for communities and people in need and provide a framework to measure what works, and what needs to be improved. The Strategy will do this by focussing efforts across three action areas:
- Empower and invest in communities to implement local solutions
- Enhance and connect support for people and communities in need.
- Build evidence and impact for effective and innovative approaches
Central to this work is our ongoing collaboration with key crime prevention partners Victoria Police, Crime Stoppers Victoria and Neighbourhood Watch Victoria.
Development of the Strategy involved consultation with government agencies, experts, young people, community and multicultural organisations, and members of the Crime Prevention Taskforce – a group of representatives across community services, industry and media.
The Strategy will be supported by an investment of over $30 million which includes the delivery of the Building Safer Communities Program.
Through the Strategy, government will support communities to bring their innovative ideas to life, so that all Victorians are connected, empowered and safe.
Watch a short animation about the Strategy: