State of the Environment Report title
2 0 0 4

2004 Report



Eurobodalla

Safety

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Eurobodalla

Eurobodalla residents feel that they live in a relatively safe community. According to statistics for the shire (see Table 1), robberies and other offences against the person remained at low levels between 1999 and 2003. Over the same period, there were three murders, one attempted murder and one manslaughter (driving). Assault rates were higher than per capita rates for NSW in the five years to 2003, as was the rate of malicious damage to property.

Making the shire safer

A community survey in 2004 showed that almost all residents of the shire felt safe in their neighbourhood during the day, but were less comfortable walking about the streets at night. Safety at night is a well-recognised issue in the community. To help address it, council supported street marches under the banner of 'claim the night' during 2000–01. Council staff have also been trained in the Safer by Design Program that involves police and the council working together to apply Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles to development applications. All major development proposals in the shire are assessed against these principles.

Many community-based organisations are active in Eurobodalla Shire, under the auspices of the NSW Police. These include Neighbourhood Watch and Business Watch. The School Safety House scheme and women's refuge centres are also in operation. Several of these and other services interact with council either as a direct service provider or as a provider on behalf of the state or federal government. Other services supported by council include Life Education, road safety programs such as 'Stop the 4 O'Clock Knock' (a community volunteer program) and 'Safe Driver Training for Youth', a community program delivered at Surfair Speedway.

During the reporting period the Eurobodalla community raised concerns regarding safety and noise from personal watercraft (jet ski) activities in waterways around the shire. After a series of public meetings, discussions with the NSW Maritime Authority (formerly the Waterways Authority) and representations to the NSW Minister for Ports, a proposal to ban the use of these craft in certain areas was agreed. Since the end of the reporting period a number of beach and estuarine areas adjacent to residential areas have had trial bans put in place. The bans will be reviewed in September 2005.

Tackling anti-social behaviour

Within Eurobodalla Shire there is cooperative effort between council, police, chambers of commerce and community groups to minimise anti-social behaviour. Liaison meetings to reduce incidents are held either in response to, or in anticipation of, events such as New Year's Eve or 'schoolies week'. In conjunction with local clubs, strict out-of-hours drinking and security are in place, together with cooperation from local food outlets in managing appropriate operating hours. Alcohol free zones have been established in central business district streets, neighbourhood shopping centres and in key reserves near car parks and children's playgrounds. Council has approved crush parties and given development consent for a rural property to hold rave parties six times a year in an effort to provide entertainment for the shire's younger residents.

Council, police, and other involved parties have also been preparing strategies for managing those events that have previously caused problems, such as New Year's Eve and 'schoolies week', but the results of these strategies will not be known until after the events have concluded. Council has worked with the local community following complaints with the conduct of the Broulee New Year's Eve impromptu gatherings and is arranging a professionally organised and secure function to be held in Batemans Bay instead.

Road safety

Road safety was of particular concern to residents of Eurobodalla and other shires along the Princes Highway and Kings Highway. Statistics for accidents, including fatalities have led to the combined efforts of the NRMA and Southern Councils Group (representing all six south coastal councils) to form 'Phocus' to lobby state and federal governments for increased funding for those highways. The results of an audit of the Princes Highway, conducted in 2005, can be viewed at http://www.mynrma.com.au/safer_roads_princes_highway_audit.asp.

Council has a strategy in place to improve the range of retail outlets and facilities and health services to reduce retail leakage and the demand to travel outside of towns or the shire for health care. This should also reduce demand for highway use and car dependency.

Table 1. Recorded criminal incidents in Eurobodalla Shire, 1999–2003
Type of offenceNumber of offences in each year
1997199819992000200120022003
Homicide
Murder*0010011
Attempted murder0010000
Murder accessory, conspiracy0000000
Manslaughter - not driving*0200000
Manslaughter - driving*010010-
Driving causing death^ #- - - 0
Assault266347371408406466421
Sexual offences
Sexual assault20281426321830
Indecent assault, act of indecency32262831252210
Other sexual offences146510151010
Abduction and kidnapping3003312
Robbery
Robbery without a weapon4476565
Robbery with a firearm1110000
Robbery with a weapon not a firearm2032111
Other offences against the person3214142716988
Theft
Break and enter - dwelling323410328333205243333
Break and enter - non-dwelling587369296242208221181
Possess implements9373896
Receiving131158655
Goods in custody30271721302839
Motor vehicle theft7695837665119116
Steal from motor vehicle353398350278248319335
Steal from retail store98103847985121115
Steal from dwelling205244207209188236254
Steal from person15141116161919
Stock theft2204656
Fraud85906671459571
Other theft326333273311289321309
Demand money with menaces0123301
Extortion, blackmail0000000
Arson1015815232415
Malicious damage to property466516549500523500629
Drug offences
Possession and/or use of cocaine0000110
Possession and/or use of narcotics0206302
Possession and/or use of cannabis14413712312710611186
Possession and/or use of other drugs273814811
Dealing, trafficking in cocaine0000000
Dealing, trafficking in narcotics0001000
Dealing, trafficking in cannabis22146232475
Dealing, trafficking in other drugs340511417
Cultivating cannabis45364540422732
Importing drugs0000000
Other drug offences43344125212631
Offensive behaviour
Offensive conduct47657852364846
Offensive language54106122751016235
Prostitution offences0041021
Betting and gaming offences0000000
Weapons offences26384365756554
Against justice procedures
Escapee - Corrective Services custody0000000
Escapee - Police custody3212331
Escapee - juvenile detention0000000
Escapee - other custody0000100
Breach Apprehended Violence Order3782739810510390
Breach bail conditions23152318224960
Breach of recognizance31041141
Fail to appear139122658
Other offences against justice procedures69826451618143
Driving offences#
Culpable driving120000-
PCA112162253217199243-
Drive while disqualified5191124105101124-
Drive manner/speed dangerous151022111420-
Other driving offences16128931544620752778-
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs^ - - - 11
Dangerous or negligent driving^ - - - 206
Driving while licence cancelled or suspended^ - - - 94
Driving without a licence^ - - - 195
Driving licence offences, nec^ - - - 320
Registration offences^ - - - 770
Roadworthiness offences^ - - - 7
Exceeding the prescribed content of alcohol limit^ - - - 209
Exceeding legal speed limit^ - - - 1099
Parking offences^ - - - 5
Regulatory driving offences, nec^ - - - 978
Other offences134225242263260388356

Source: Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research;
Notes: nec = not elsewhere classified; * Number of recorded victims; ^ Number of legal actions commenced, including referrals to court and infringement notices; # In July 2003, NSW Police changed the way they classify traffic incidents. The incidence of specific driving offences could no longer be determined directly from police incident categories. In response to this change, from 2003 onwards, the unit of measurement used by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research when reporting driving offences was the number of legal actions commenced by police rather than the number of incidents recorded. Legal actions include infringement notices, court referrals, formal cautions under the Young Offenders Act and Youth Conference referrals. From 2003 onwards, the driving offences reported accord with those in the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC).

About the data

Crime Statistics are from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, viewed 16 May 2005, at http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/pages/lga_alphalist.

Recorded crime statistics represent incidents recorded by the police (see explanatory notes on the website http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/bocsar/ll_bocsar.nsf/pages/bocsar_lga_notes).

Information on perceptions of safety and council safety issues was provided by Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Other information was obtained from the Safer by Design Program link, viewed 16 May 2005, at http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues.