Gunnedah council's preparing new Crime Prevention Plan

TOGETHER: Council's Crime Prevention Plan aims to work with police and community groups to reduce crime.
TOGETHER: Council's Crime Prevention Plan aims to work with police and community groups to reduce crime.

Gunnedah Shire Council is forming its new four-year plan to tackle crime cross the region.

The Crime Prevention Plan aims to reduce all crime across the region, and council wants the community’s input.

Gunnedah councillor and Crime Prevention Group chair Colleen Fuller said the town had “made up a lot of ground” over the past decade, and had the stats to prove it.

“Fourteen years ago you wouldn’t dare walk down the main street at night – now we’ve got people walking around at night, going about their business and feeling comfortable,” Cr Fuller said.

The latest round of crime figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show that break-and-enters to homes and businesses almost halving in 2016, which Cr Fuller said was in part due to council’s current Crime Prevention Plan, which saw several organisations all working towards the same goal.

Cr Fuller’s top two priorities are reducing domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse, but she’s keen from residents and community groups.

Gunnedah District Liquor Accord president Greg Thomas said local venues were already working with council and police to reduce alcohol-related crime and were not afraid to hand out bans.

Mr Thomas said the accord banned one resident from all venues the length of his two-year good-behaviour bond after he was convicted of assault in a local pub.

“We realise these events are serious and we don’t take people causing problems in our venues lightly as a group,” Mr Thomas said.

“If you're underage or you want to blue in pubs, guess what – you’re not welcome.”

The top three priorities for the business community – more police presence in the main street, the expansion of CCTV and more out of school activities – were already being actively pursed by council, Gunnedah Business Chamber president Michael Broekman said.

“We're lucky in Gunnedah to already have this community approach,” he said.

“When crime does spike and businesses are targeted, it’s very costly.”