New initiatives to improve safety and address crime

Thanks to Graham Crichton, CFA reporter for Gully News, who supplies this photo from his own graffiti audit.

Knox Council is excited to announce their successful application for a State Government Grant of $700,000 to tackle crime and make local communities safer.

Knox is one of six Councils chosen to benefit from the ‘Empowering Communities’ Grant, set up to enable Councils to partner with local organisations to focus on the underlying causes of crime.

The first steps will be for Council to engage a Project Officer to consult with communities and implement initiatives over the next few years to make Ferntree Gully and other focal centres safer places, free of crime.

Ferntree Gully News and the Village Traders Association were consulted by Council earlier this year for views on crime and safety, issues we see as crucial if we are to move into post-Covid renewal especially around the shopping centre and railway station.

The Traders recently set up a subcommittee to conduct a safety audit and to tackle the incidence of the graffiti defacing even some of the newest buildings. They will be especially proud to be partnering with Council on this initiative. We congratulate Council officers who have been building similar partnerships in other centres in Knox in their efforts to achieve this grant.

Ever since Neighbourhood Watch was closed in Knox, there has been a gap in the former partnership of Police, Council and residents, to tackle crime. It is good to see partnerships being restored.

Key priorities locally are likely to be reducing graffiti on commercial buildings, improving sight lines and lighting to make streets safer at night, and educating community about cyber safety, and other current problems.

Ferntree Gully News was founded in partnership with Village Traders and Neighbourhood Watch in 2009 and we look forward to charting the progress of this new initiative in future editions of the newspaper.

Anne Boyd

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