17 June 2020

Why do people in Tuggeranong worry about crime and feel unsafe?

| Ian Bushnell
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Lake Tuggeranong

Lake Tuggeranong and the Tuggeranong Town Centre: the latest Community Survey has thrown up some surprises. Photo: File.

Crime and safety has emerged as a major concern for Tuggeranong residents but the results of the latest Community Survey have only posed more questions for the local community council.

The results surprised the council, considering that monthly police reports do not reflect any increase in crime in Canberra’s southern suburbs.

But young people also raised concerns about crime and safety in the council’s Youth Survey, such as when walking at night and poor lighting on some streets and at bus stops. Other sites mentioned were the skatepark near MacDonalds, and the bus interchange at night.

The council will now launch a mini-survey that it hopes will unpack residents’ concerns and provide more specific information.

President Jeffery Bollard said that apart from the well-publicised violence associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs, crime in Tuggeranong was not disproportionately high compared with other parts of Canberra.

He said it may come down to how safe people feel just moving around and going to certain areas such as the less formal recreation areas, pathways, areas around the fast-food outlets and the skatepark, particularly with more outside activity during the COVID-19 shutdown.

”In the past, that perception of safety has been improved by the provision of things like good street lighting,” he said.

CCTV footage of arson attack

Shocking CCTV footage shows a bikie shooting and arson attack at a Calwell home in 2018, but this is the exception in Tuggeranong. Photo: File.

So the survey will focus on infrastructure in the safety section of the survey, from footpaths through to lighting maintenance, and then look at what will fall into the crime category.

”What we’re trying to do is get an understanding of what people’s areas of concern are, and we’re actually adopting the AFP’s reporting framework so we can do some direct comparisons later on,” Mr Bollard said.

”Hopefully, when we get some stats back from this follow-up survey we’ll be in a better position to really understand what the results of the Community Survey and the youth survey were.”

The next biggest concern revealed in the Community Survey was public transport, followed by park and garden maintenance, community and support for residents, rates and water quality in Lake Tuggeranong.

Asked what they wanted improved over the next two to five years, they said better bus services, revamped local shops, improvements to recreation/parkland areas and healthier waterways.

They wanted better maintenance of green spaces, more trees and shrubs and organic waste collection.

Most people said Tuggeranong would benefit from more outdoor markets and many said the area’s sporting facilities needed upgrading while some wanted more indoor stadiums and even an ice skating rink.

The council says it will follow up on these issues, but specifically investigate the need for a new bus interchange, look at supporting and promoting more local markets, and continue to put pressure on the ACT Government to improve water quality in Lake Tuggeranong.

The survey attracted comments from all Tuggeranong suburbs and people from all ages, with the biggest group to respond aged from 35 to 44.

Almost half the responders had lived in Tuggeranong for more than 20 years, and women were the largest cohort to respond.

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russianafroman4:44 pm 19 Jun 20

This article is misleading. Canberra is a very safe place. The media would like to spur up division and promote a false idea that Tuggeranong is unsafe based on some outlier cases. Stop trying to promote over-policing. It is the last thing we need and does not work. If we increase policing, we will turn into west Melbourne or any city in the USA. Policing doesn’t work. Defund the police even more, I’d say.

I’m sorry to hear that noid. I do see crime in Tuggeranong like anywhere else in Australia but I haven’t seen that crime is all bikie gang related nor that they are out of control in the ACT like some other places.

Kim. You need to talk to my dad who lived across the road from a Calwell Bikey for over 10 years. So much excessive noise, so much bad language and scary interactions, weekly drive by’s from opposing gangs causing mischief. Etc etc.

Then ‘luckily’ a fire and the neighbours house was shot up and the ACT Government finally moved my father to a quieter public house in another suburb. This unfortunately is a story repeated across numerous Tuggeranong suburbs. Not a political beat up.

And believe me I’m no supporter of Jeremy Hanson, Coe or Parton who couldn’t come up with a suitable policy to save themselves.

You seem to think Tuggeranong residents are making up all their gripes out of thin air. To get a better feel. I recommend having a drink from Lake Tuggeranong, a drink from Kambah Tavern and then hanging out at a Johnson dr underpass after dark.

russianafroman4:46 pm 19 Jun 20

bj_ACT We do not make or change policies based on anecdotal stories. What we should be doing is defunding the police even further. All this nonsence about “crime” in a city which we know for a fact is safer than most cities. Want to know why this is? We restrict police funding here. Police create crime, not the opposite. What we should be doing is defunding, or better yet, abolishing the police here.

bj-ACT are you serious? Tell me how outlaw motorcycle gangs are having a huge impact on Tuggeranong residents? The only impact I can find is the beat up from the Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson and Police

I don’t think so, it is more like a Greens/Labor play down. My suburb Calwell and the neighboring suburb of Isabella Plains have both had bikie shootings and property burnt over the last few years. Also recent incidents in Kambah of burning property were attributed to bikie gangs. It has effected my families feeling of safety and neighbors I have spoken to in our neighborhood.

Hmmmm ……………. just in my suburb Calwell over the last 18 months, bikie shootings, major drug busts and some nut running around stabbing people to name a few. Wonder why I/we don’t feel safe? Is this the new norm now that the Greens/Labor government are comfortable with. Stat’s while they maybe useful they can be manipulated to suit. Roll on the election, totally feel let down by this government.

Definitely the outlaw motorcycle gangs are a huge issue in Tuggeranong and this impacts the feeling of safety and lawfulness for many Tuggeranong residents.

The lack of policing and police patrols through the Tuggeranong suburbs also effects crime statistics and the public’s feeling of safety, whether real or imagined.

Totally agree, the police seem to be reactive instead of proactive these days. I wonder if it is a resourcing problem? A year or so ago they said they were going to recruit a further 60 officers, this would imply to me that they have been under resourced for a while. And was 60 just replacing what they had run the service down to, probably need more with Canberra’s population growth.

russianafroman4:48 pm 19 Jun 20

noid Pro-active policing causes crime. The problem is that we haven’t defunded the police here.

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