Council invests in community safety

Date published: 28 June 2023

Townsville City Council has made community safety one of its top priorities in the 2023/24 Budget and Operational Plan, investing $14.9 million to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Council has used crime data and on-the-ground intelligence to inform programs and innovations to fight crime in the community.

“Council is bound by legislative constraints in how it can respond to crime, but we have been working as hard as we can to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour ,” Cr Hill said.

“We have advocated on behalf of the community to make sure the lawmakers and the lawbreakers are held to account, and we will continue to push the State Government and the Judicial system to make real changes to reduce crime and protect the people of Townsville.

“What our city needs is immediate projects that make an immediate impact, and our budget supports this.

“In this budget, we are continuing to invest in the successful Boulder Protection Program and we are extending it to more of our city’s parks and open spaces.

“Last year’s program resulted in a reduction of dangerous hooning behaviour at the 10 parks and open spaces the boulders were installed at, giving the community the confidence to enjoy the areas safely.

“In this budget, we are expanding the program to Victoria Park off Boundary Street in South Townsville, Wulguru Sports Field at Edison Street, Greenwood Park adjacent to Thuringowa Drive in Kirwan, Cutheringa Park off Percy Street in West End, Lakeside Park off Golf Links Drive, Burt Street Sports Field at Mundingburra, Aitkenvale Park at Aitkenvale, as well as Riverway Sports Field.”

Cr Hill said this budget also included an increase in investment in Council’s Community Safety Patrols.

“More resources are going to directing teams of professional security specialists into crime hotspots to monitor, deter and assist the Queensland Police Service in tracking down people engaging in crime and anti-social behaviour,” she said.

“Community Safety Patrols do not perform the duties of police, but they are a valuable asset to the community in deterring undesirable behaviour.

“By boosting the resources for these patrols, we are providing a strong 24-hour-a-day presence at our community spaces and giving the residents the confidence to go out and enjoy them safely.”

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said the targeted investment was guided by data and intelligence collected through Council’s Community Safety Auditor.

“Earlier this year Council appointed former QPS sergeant Clint Drew to the role to identify community areas vulnerable to anti-social and undesirable behaviour and provide advice on actions and measures to reduce such behaviours ,” Cr Soars said.

“He has worked closely with police and other stakeholders on our Community Safety Audit program which will continue as we gather more data about crime and anti-social behaviour in our city.

“In this budget, we have $1.8 million for the operation and maintenance of Council’s more than 500-camera CCTV network and seven mobile CCTV trailers.

“Our extensive CCTV network has the benefits of helping to protect our community assets while also assisting police to identify culprits.

“On average Council receives more than 500 requests each year from police for surveillance data and it is a great example of how we work closely with authorities to help them identify these offenders.”

Cr Hill said Council would continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to protect the Townsville community.

“Council is limited in the scope of what it can do to reduce crime, but we will continue to work closely with those groups who can make real changes to come up with solutions to reduce crime in our city.

“If there’s a way Council can assist in reducing crime and making our community safer, we will do it, and our budget reflects this,” Cr Hill said.

View our 2023/24 Budget and Operational Plan web page for more information.