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A community approach to safety and security

Media release

C251/08

11 September 2008

Curtin University of Technology and key community bodies are working together to address safety issues in Bentley and surrounding areas through the recently formed Curtin Community Security Action Group.

The first meeting of the Group was held last week and included senior representatives of the University, the Canning, Victoria Park and South Perth Councils, Cannington Detectives and Police and the Public Transport Authority.

Curtin’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Strategy and Planning, Ms Val Raubenheimer, said the Group was formed to address shared concerns about safety following a recent spate of attacks in the area, several involving Curtin students.

“While the Police, with assistance from Curtin Security, have made a number of arrests in connection with the recent incidents, the University wants to take a proactive and inclusive approach to safety and security and so proposed the formation of the Group.”

Ms Raubenheimer said the University was heartened by the outcomes of the meeting and the understanding shown that safety was an issue for the whole community.

“Among the outcomes achieved were agreement that Curtin will now be represented on the community safety committees of the Victoria Park and South Perth Councils, a plan to develop safer pathways for students when leaving the campus by increasing lighting on key roads near students’ homes, investigating a safety house program, and a commitment to jointly lobby the State Government to bring forward a Department of Housing and Works Revitalisation/New Living program in the Bentley and St James areas.”

She said the Police had advised that these programs often contribute to a reduction in crime in the areas involved.

“The University will also increase its efforts to make students aware of the safety programs it offers, and the importance of reporting any security incidents immediately to Police and Curtin Security, so support can be provided and prompt action taken to apprehend offenders.”

Ms Raubenheimer said a joint Curtin-Police-community project to raise awareness of local security issues and measures individuals can take to protect themselves was also proposed, and is now being explored more fully.

The second meeting of the Curtin Community Security Action Group will be held in October.  There are plans to extend its membership.

Attention Editor/COS: Below is background on security initiatives at Curtin.

Background on security initiatives at Curtin:

Curtin University has spent an additional $4 million on a range of a security initiatives during the past two years as part of its ongoing commitment to making the campus safer for students and staff, including:

• More security staff and patrols across the campus;

• Increased physical security in Curtin managed student housing;

• Security staff have been equipped with scooters and fluorescent vests to make them more mobile and visible;

• The freeing up of security staff to conduct more regular patrols following the installation of a Cardex access control system in University buildings.  The system includes campus assistance speaker points;

• CCTV cameras and lighting have been installed to increase security and visibility in external areas;

• The Campus Courtesy Bus now runs during the day and is available from 9am to 2am Monday to Thursday and until midnight on Friday nights;

• The Courtesy Bus can be hailed from any point around the campus or people can contact security to be collected from their buildings;

• Recently 22 police officers from the South East Metropolitan Crime Prevention Unit conducted a security information and awareness program on campus which was attended by large numbers of students. More information sessions are being run to remind students and staff about personal safety issues;

• A Security website http://about.curtin.edu.au/security/ has been established that outlines safety tips and information to assist students and staff;

• Curtin will soon be installing a Virtual Observer CCTV system – technology developed by Curtin – to security vehicles and the Courtesy Bus, providing a 360 degree view while recording images with the time and GPS location.  The information can then be uploaded for later viewing if required.

Modified: 11 September 2008