Crime pays for consultant: council hatching plan to combat crime problems

ARRESTING READING: A consultant will be paid to analyse crime data for the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee.

ARRESTING READING: A consultant will be paid to analyse crime data for the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee.

CRIME concerns in Orange are set to be addressed in the coming months during the preparation of a community safety and crime prevention plan.

Last week, Orange City Council staff advertised for a consultant to analyse crime data, which will inform Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee projects from 2017. 

The current plan will cover the local government area until 2016, but committee chair and councillor Jason Hamling said it was necessary to start work early for the new plan.

“In the past, a string of successful projects have come from this work,” he said.

“The Wingman campaign tackled preventing alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour [and] the committee looks at CCTV strategies and street lighting.

“It’s important that this plan is up to date and that’s it takes into account the latest crime trends.”

Cr Hamling said the council applied annually for grants to fund the projects and a “big picture” plan was necessary to demonstrate research and community consultation.

Recent Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data showed increases in retail theft, motor vehicle theft, domestic assault, sexual offences and indecent assault, however Cr Hamling said the consultant would be required to analyse a range of data about the types of crime in the area, where crimes were committed, trends about the kinds of victims and how Orange compared with other regional cities.

The current plan cost about $20,000 to produce, with the cost of the next document depending on the expressions of interest process under way.

The plan will also involve community consultation through workshops and surveys.

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