27 Nov, 2013

Council working to improve city safety

City of Adelaide has sought the assistance of 50 volunteers to rate how safe they feel on city streets.

The volunteers rated 171 locations during four Late Night Safety Audits conducted between 2011 and 2013. The volunteers rated each location on a seven-point scale according to their personal feelings and perceptions of safety, using a rating scale of very safe to very unsafe.

Volunteers included city residents, students, property owners, precinct association members, business operators, licensees and people who regularly use the precincts at night.

Each location was audited for overall perceptions of safety and a number of related features including lighting, sightlines, patron behaviour, congestion, cleanliness and maintenance.

The four audits were conducted in the East End (12 November 2011), West End (10 March 2012 and 16 March 2013) and the Market Precinct (10 May 2012). This year’s audit of the West End was the eighth since the Late Night Safety Audit program began in 2005.

Acting Lord Mayor Dr Michael Llewellyn-Smith AM said there were four sites in the West End that were identified as requiring safety improvements.

“Work has already started at these sites to address concerns. Improvements include lighting upgrades, maintenance of buildings and public art. We have been very quick to act as the safety of all users of the West End is paramount to Council,” Michael said.

“Work has also already begun on improvements to other sites in the other areas that the volunteers felt were unsafe. This program demonstrates Council’s commitment to ensuring all city streets are as safe and welcoming as possible so people have a great night out.”

Since 2005 when the program began, a range of safety measures have been implemented.

These include street and veranda lighting, white (rather than yellow light) in side streets, maintenance of public space, street furniture, signs, toilets, pruning vegetation to increase sightlines, installing public art, calming music to deter congregation and anti-social behaviour, negotiating with building owners to close off unsafe spaces at night and a wide range of other initiatives.

The results of the recent audits were:

East End (12 November 2011):
Of the 27 locations, 17 had improved in their overall safety rating since their last audit. Four locations had declined since 2009. Six locations were new. On aggregate:

  • 15 sites were considered very safe to safe (rating of 1 – 3)
  • 12 safe to neutral (rating of 4)
  • 0 unsafe to very unsafe (rating of 5 – 7)

West End (10 March 2012):
Of the 55 locations 27 had improved in their overall safety rating since their last audit. Eighteen locations had declined since 2011. Five locations were new and three locations had the same rating as the previous year. On aggregate:

  • 23 sites were considered very safe to safe (rating of 1 – 3)
  • 27 safe to neutral (rating of 4)
  • 5 unsafe to very unsafe (rating of 5 – 7)

Market Precinct (10 May 2012):
Of the 34 sites audited on aggregate:

  • 30 sites were considered very safe to safe (rating of 1 – 3)
  • 4 safe to neutral (rating of 4)
  • 0 unsafe to very unsafe (rating of 5 – 7)

West End (16 March 2013):
Of the 55 locations, 41 had improved in their overall safety rating since their last audit. Thirteen locations had declined since 2012 and one location was new for the 2013 audit. On aggregate:

  • 43 sites were considered very safe to safe (rating of 1 – 3)
  • 8 safe to neutral (rating of 4)
  • 4 unsafe to very unsafe (rating of 5 – 7)