The problem with CBD's Park Avenue
ALCOHOL bottles, used needles, dumped shopping trolleys and even urine stains were revealed in disturbing images to residents, councillors and business owners on Thursday afternoon.
Making a case for the need of CCTV cameras and better lighting in the CBD, police have recently undertaken a safety audit in the area - specifically hotspots Park Ave and Park Ave Ln.
The audit was conducted in response to community concerns of crime in the area shared during a forum held at the council chamber in March.
The results were revealed by Inspector Brendan Gorman and Crime Prevention Officer Daniel Dunn in the second crime forum this week.
"Predominately this area is used by shoppers and those accessing bus and taxi services, but there's been a lot of reports in regards to youth that engage in antisocial behaviour," Insp Gorman said.
The most common crimes in the area include malicious damage, steal from retail store, break and enter non-dwelling, and alcohol-related assaults, which mostly take place on Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends.
"People don't feel safe in this area. Whether there is actual crime occuring or not, there is a feeling of unease."
In the case of Park Ave Ln, Insp Gorman said the appearance of a lack of care is driving away community activity and increasing crime.
"There's a theory called the broken windows theory: if one window is broken and not repaired, you'll soon find two, three, four broken. Think of your car broken down on the side of the highway. It's okay for a while but then one window gets broken. The next day all the windows are broken, then the wheels are missing," he said.
Insp Gorman said better lighting is needed to invite more community members.
"Darkness creates fear. The more people doing the right thing in an area reduces the likelihood of people doing the wrong thing in the area."
Police also informed councillors the presence of trees with low foliage contributes to 'areas of darkness' and prevents officers driving by from having a clear view.
They also pointed out the back-to-back seats in the area is contributing the feelings of unease.
"Back-to-back seating does not allow people to easily observe others...it makes people feel vulenrable."
A lack of directional signage was also noted by police, who said offenders prey onon those who appear to be lost.
Concluding the meeting, Insp Gorman called on the council to consider the installation of CCTV cameras.