Local community members and stakeholders will be invited to share their ideas and collaborate on improving safety in the municipality, as Knox receives an Empowering Communities grant from the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Crime Prevention announced the successful grant, which will provide $700,000 to support community-led initiatives that address the causes of crime.
Council will facilitate a Building Safer Communities Forum to bring together representatives from Victoria Police, local secondary schools, community houses, community organisations/agencies, traders groups and more, including members of the community.
Following the forum, a Community Action Group will be put together from these stakeholder groups to design initiatives that address the drivers and contributors to crime. As a truly community-led project, these projects will focus on the issues our community identifies as the most important to improving safety and reducing crime in Knox.
Ensuring Knox is a place to call home, where our community is strong, health and we support and respect each other is a key focus of the new Community Plan and Council Plan. In developing this plan, the community told us they are concerned about the issue of safety as it relates to our homes physical environment, crime, and prejudice or discrimination.
Issues such as family violence and elder abuse were significant and concerning for many in our community, with adults’ reports of feeling safe at night declining in recent years.
You also told us there needs to be a focus on education, promoting respectful relationships in families, between different cultures and in the broader community, and better and more accessible services and infrastructure.
The upcoming forum and action group will provide a fantastic opportunity for our community to lead work on addressing crime and improving safety.