Tamworth Regional Council wants community feedback on crime prevention plan

CRACK DOWN: Council crime prevention working group chair Russell Webb says education is key is stemming some offences. Photo: Gareth Gardner

CRACK DOWN: Council crime prevention working group chair Russell Webb says education is key is stemming some offences. Photo: Gareth Gardner

COUNCIL has a plan to crack down on crime in the community.

Tamworth Regional Council is set to put its draft crime prevention plan, for the next five years, on public exhibition for feedback.

The plan focuses on four priority offences including, break and enters, non-domestic assaults, malicious damage and disorderly conduct.

In 2016, the amount of break and enters in the Tamworth Regional Council area rose by 15 per cent with 493 instances.

While the amount of break and enters climbed in Tamworth, the NSW average decreased by 6.2 per cent in the same 12-month period.

South Tamworth, Coledale and Oxley Vale appeared to have the highest rates of these offences.

The prevention plan sees council working with local police and other organisations to deliver education and intervention programs to reduce instances of these crimes.

RELATED STORY: Tamworth Regional Crime Prevention Working Group to review old crime prevention plan; develop new one

The crimes targeted in council’s draft prevention plan identified three “hotspots” including, the Tamworth CBD, South Tamworth and Coledale.

Russell Webb, chair of the council crime prevention working group, said the issues facing Tamworth were “systemic across the state” and blamed the prevalence of alcohol and drugs, particularly ice.

“This is a real societal problem,” Cr Webb told The Leader.

“It’s a problem for people who want to see the community stay safe.”

Cr Webb said the crime prevention working group was “limited” in the actions it could take, but the councillor saw education as one of the “better tools” of the group.

He said education would be key in the effort to stem break and enters.

“The crime prevention working group can develop strategies with other agencies to educate people on how to make themselves less of a target,” he said.

“That might include things like good locks, CCTV if they can, security lighting.”

Councillors will consider the draft crime prevention plan at Tuesday’s meeting and, if endorsed, it will go on public exhibition for 28 days with the hope of attracting some community feedback.

“There’s a lot of people with great ideas out there,” Cr Webb said. “I’d encourage people to put any submissions forward they might have.

“We’re a small group, with the help of some state agencies, but we don’t have all the answers.”

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