Making Sydney a Safe City

Last week I welcomed NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch and the Commanders of each local Police Command to a roundtable discussion with City staff.

It was an opportunity to thank police for their work to keep Sydney safe, and to discuss our partnership with Police to make the City a safer and livelier place for everyone.

Each area command has unique challenges, but we all agreed that late night violence, often fuelled by alcohol and drug use, is a serious concern.

The concentration of very late trading licensed premises is a problem in some parts of the City. It generates a series of cumulative impacts that spill out into the public domain: anti-social behaviour, assaults, littering and public urination.

Last weekend's violent incidents on George Street are a reminder that the work we're doing together to make our streets safer is absolutely vital.

The City is already taking a wide range of action to reduce crime risks and - importantly - increase the perception of safety, ranging from CCTV and lighting, upgrading our parks and public spaces, activating laneways, introducing alcohol free zones and programs for sharps management in our public spaces.

The City carries out regular public space safety audits, including in public housing lands. There are also safety programs we run for international students, Good Neighbourhood barbecues, precinct ambassadors and support for White Ribbon Day to address domestic violence.

We've also been working with police to update the protocol on Crime Prevent through Environment Design. The City and police work effectively together on DA referrals and on alcohol restrictions in the City.

The very good news is that the latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistic for our local government area show that the major crime categories are tending downwards. Robbery in particular has come down sharply.

Worryingly, fraud has increased in the City by almost 30 per cent in the last 12 months. The Bureau suggests it involved mainly business or commercial premises, especially service stations and supermarket service stations. Police have urged people to be aware that new 'tap and go' payment methods can be easily exploited by criminals.

Each of the seven Area Commands hold regular meetings to update the community on their work. City staff also attend these meetings, which are a good way for locals to address issues with the those working directly on them.

Contact your local police command to find out when the next in your neighborhood is, and visit the City's website to find out about Good Neighbourhood barbeques and other safety initiatives near you.

As the City becomes more densely populated we will face new challenges. While more work needs to be done, real progress is being made and I thank the police.

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