Coffs Harbour to introduce public crime forums
OPEN meetings on local crime issues are to be trialled by Coffs Harbour Council and local police in a bid to help share information on criminal trends and activity in the Coffs Harbour area.
The Community Precinct Safety Consultation forum meetings are to be held three times a year immediately prior to regular council meetings in the chamber and will be open to the public.
"We were very happy to help the police try and generate more interest locally in learning about trends in criminal activity and crime hotspots, as well as their successes in tackling crime," Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight said.
"With the police sharing their information with the public in this way, we can help build greater understanding of what's happening locally and, hopefully, break down some barriers.
"The forums will also be encouraging people to come along and share their concerns with the police."
Cr Knight said council has a role in community safety through the way public spaces are planned, measures to help discourage anti-social behaviour and initiatives to encourage all members of the community to play a part in society.
"We hope that that the result of this format will be the forging of a stronger partnership to address crime trends, as well as a means to develop local solutions to crime in our area," she added.
The forums will be 30 minutes long and will be held at 4.30pm prior to council meetings three times a year.
They will include a 5-10 minute presentation by the police on local crime statistics, issues and trends followed by a question and answer session with councillors and senior council staff, plus questions from the audience in the chamber.
The meetings will also be live-streamed via council's online channels.