CWM community safety

Community Safety

Crime impacts negatively on the community in terms of personal security, the attractiveness of an area for recreation and on general amenity. Neighbourhoods that are perceived as safe and lowering the incidence of crime foster community participation and encourage physical activity.

The built environment and the way neighbourhoods are designed and maintained, impact greatly on perceptions of safety and are critical factors in any strategy for improving safety in neighbourhoods.

Indicators: Number of criminal offences
Number of people reporting feeling safe in their neighbourhood
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Data sources: Office of Crime Statistics and Research, Crime Mapper
South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance Systems (SAMSS)
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Strategies / Plans: N/A
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Community Plan 2035: Objective 2.2 Dynamic and safe communities
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Number of criminal offences

The Office of Crime Statistics and Research (OCSAR) within the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department collect data on the number of criminal offences in South Australia (35). These offences include offences against the person, sexual offences, robbery and extortion offences, offences against property, offences against good order, drug offences, driving offences and ‘other’ offences. The latest data available from OCSAR was for the year 2013.

Data analysis

In 2013 the largest proportion of crime committed in the City of Onkaparinga was offences against property, which accounted for 52.4 per cent, followed by crime against good order (21.1 per cent), driving offences (11.7 per cent) and offences against the person (9.7 per cent) (Figure 1). The remainder of offences including sexual offences, robbery and extortion offences, drug offences and other offences, only accounted for a combined total of 5.1 per cent (data not shown). 

Figure 1: Number of major offences recorded by police, City of Onkaparinga, 2007 to 2013

CWM Number of major offences recorded by police, City of Onkaparinga, 2007 to 2013
Source: The Office of Crime Statistics and Research (35)

 

To compare rates of crime across different regions, the rate per 1000 people is used to take into account different population sizes. Figure 48 demonstrates the overall offence rates for the City of Onkaparinga, Metropolitan Adelaide and South Australia. In 2013, the City of Onkaparinga had the lowest rate of major offences per 1000 population when compared with both Metropolitan Adelaide and South Australia. Metropolitan Adelaide’s rate was 5.9 per cent higher and South Australia’s rate was 4.6 per cent higher, when compared with the City of Onkaparinga (Figure 2).

 

Figure 2: Rate of major offences recorded by police, City of Onkaparinga, Metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia, 2007 to 2013

CWM Rate of major offences recorded by police, City of Onkaparinga, Metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia, 2007 to 2013
Source: The Office of Crim Statistics and Research (35)

 

Trend analysis

CWM number of criminal offences trend analysis

In 2013 the total number of reported offences in the City of Onkaparinga was 18 per cent less than that reported in 2007 (Figure 1). During this time all offence categories decreased, with the exception of drug related offences which increased by more than twice as much. ‘Other offences’ increased by 17.5 per cent and offences against the person increased by 7.2 per cent.

The rate of major offences reported for the City of Onkaparinga, Metropolitan Adelaide and South Australia all decreased between 2007 and 2013, with the City of Onkaparinga having the lowest rate of reported major offences for all years between 2007 and 2013 when compared with both Metropolitan Adelaide and South Australia (Figure 2). The rate of offences per 1000 population for the City of Onkaparinga decreased by 23.3 per cent between 2007 and 2013, this trend was also similar for Metropolitan Adelaide (34.0 per cent reduction) and South Australia (32.3 per cent reduction). The decrease in both regions was greater than that observed with the City of Onkaparinga.

Policy implications

The City of Onkaparinga will continue to work with SAPOL on crimes related to local government, particularly with the City of Onkaparinga’s Community Safety and Asset Protection teams to ensure the community feels safe and is safe. Moreover, the City of Onkaparinga recently addressed SAPOL regarding their ‘Organisational Reform police station reviews’. While the Council was supportive of the proposal, reassurance from SAPOL was requested to confirm that this reconfiguration of service is principally intended to facilitate an improvement in incident response times. In addition, attention was also drawn to the effectiveness of this proposal in the McLaren Vale and Aldinga regions, considering the recent closure of the McLaren Vale station, combined with the rapid population growth in the Aldinga area, could have unexpected resource impacts. The Council suggested close monitoring of resource impacts and community perceptions of safety in these areas as the new approach is implemented.

Number of people reporting feeling safe in their neighbourhood

As part of the SAMSS, participants were asked a series of questions about trust and safety regarding the neighbourhood they live in. The questions they were asked included:

  1. ‘Overall do you feel that your neighbourhood is a safe place’?
  2. ‘Do you think that in this neighbourhood people generally trust one another’?
  3. ‘Do you feel safe in your home’? (All of the time, most of the time, some of the time, none of the time)

In the 2014-15 SAMSS assessment of neighbourhood safety a total of 827 respondents were interviewed for the City of Onkaparinga and a total of 7167 South Australians (30).

Data analysis

In 2014-15, just over 91 per cent of respondents in the City of Onkaparinga indicated that they felt that their neighbourhood was a safe place, the proportion of South Australian respondents was slightly higher, with 93.6 per cent indicating that they felt safe in their neighbourhood (Figure 3).

 

Figure 3: Proportion of respondents who felt their neighbourhood was a safe place, City of Onkaparinga and South Australia, 2008-09 to 2014-15

CWM Proportion of respondents who felt their neighbourhood was a safe place, City of Onkaparinga and South Australia, 2008-09 to 2014-15
Source: South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System (30)

 

In 2014-15, over 77 per cent of City of Onkaparinga respondents indicated they thought that people within their neighbourhood trusted each other. The proportion of South Australian respondents was slightly higher, with 81.3 per cent indicating neighbourhood trust (Figure 4). 

Figure 4: Proportion of respondents who thought people in their neighbourhood trusted each other, City of Onkaparinga and South Australia, 2008-09 to 2014-15

CWM Proportion of respondents who thought neighbourhood trusted each other, City of Onkaparinga and South Australia, 2008-09 to 2014-15
Source: South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System (30)

 

In 2014-15, the proportion of City of Onkaparinga respondents reporting that they either felt safe within their home ‘all of the time or ‘most of the time’ was 98.3 per cent, the proportion of South Australian respondents was almost the same at 98.1 per cent (Figure 5). Only a very small percentage of respondents in the City of Onkaparinga (0.2 per cent) and South Australia (0.1 per cent) indicated that they felt safe ‘none of the time’ (data not shown).

 

Figure 5: Proportion of respondents who felt safe in their home ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’, City of Onkaparinga and South Australia, 2008-09 to 2014-15

CWM Proportion of respondents who felt safe in their home all of the time or most of the time, City of Onkaparinga and South Australia, 2008-09 to
Source: South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System (30)

 

Trend analysis

CWM feeling safe trend analysis

Between 2008-09 and 2014-15 there was a slight decrease, of 0.2 per cent, in the proportion of City of Onkaparinga respondents who felt their neighbourhood was a safe place (Figure 3). For the same time period, there was a slight increase (0.01 per cent) in the proportion of South Australian respondents who felt their neighbourhood was safe.

There was a 0.03 per cent decrease in the proportion of City of Onkaparinga respondents who felt people in their neighbourhood trusted each other (Figure 4). In contrast, there was a very slight increase in the proportion of South Australians reporting neighbourhood trust between 2008-09 and 2014-15 (less than 0.01 per cent increase).

The proportion of respondents reporting they felt safe within their home for both the City of Onkaparinga and South Australia changed very little between 2008-09 and 2014-15 (Figure 5). In 2014-15, there was a 0.02 per cent increase in the proportion of City of Onkaparinga respondents who felt safe within their home when compared with 2008-09, and an increase of 0.01 per cent for South Australia.

Policy implications

While there has been very little change in the proportion of residents who reported feeling safe in their neighbourhood, neighbourhood trust and feeling safe in their homes, importantly the large majority of residents generally do feel safe, be it at home, within the community and trusting their neighbours. This indicates that the City of Onkaparinga is achieving the aim of Objective 2.2 Dynamic and safe communities which is to ensure that community connections are being built and that residents feel safe within their communities. To ensure this continues the City of Onkaparinga will continue to encourage social interactions in community centres, neighbourhoods and public spaces and continue to promote community services, facilities and activities which will strengthen community connections.

 


 

This indicator is linked to other strategies, plans and targets outlined below:

Government of South Australia South Australia’s Strategic Plan Targets: 17. Statewide Crime Rates: Reduce victim reported crime by 38 per cent by 2014, maintaining or improving thereafter.  
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Other State Strategies • SAPOL 2020
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National Strategies: • National Drug Strategy 2010-15 (under review)
• Australian Federal Police Corporate Plan 2015-19
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