Monday, June 19 2017

When you walk the streets of Adelaide at night, do you get that eerie feeling? Do you feel uneasy, anxious, unsafe? Is this the case in crowded areas, or just when you’re walking on your own?

The South Australian Police’s latest annual report shows a 7% decrease in the number of sexual assault and related offences from 2014-2016. The homicide rate has also decreased by 25%.

While crime seems to be decreasing in Adelaide overall, Bridget speaks to The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese, and Neil David from the Sammy D Foundation, about whether Adelaide is actually a safe place after dark, and what we’re doing to ensure it stays that way.

Mr Haese said despite Adelaide being a safe city, we shouldn’t take our safety for granted. He believes that a safe city is a good city, and his office is aiming to make Adelaide the 3rd most livable city in the world by 2020. We’re currently sitting at 5th.

He said in order to keep the safety of our citizens, it’s important that we retain our friendly nature.

“Adelaide’s friendly nature is something never to be underestimated. [We need to] retain that… sense of community,” he said.

A 2013 Suncorp survey rated Adelaide as Australia’s safest city with the lowest levels of criminal activity over a 12 month period.

Roy Morgan’s December 2016 State of the Nation report said locals felt most safe in Adelaide, Norwood, North Adelaide, Aldgate-Stirling and Toorak Gardens. Elizabeth, Christie Downs and Salisbury were among the suburbs people felt crime was a growing problem.

Mr Haese said environmental design is important to tackle crime in SA.

“When we redesign a new public space – it could be a lane way, it could be a public park, it could be a public square, it could be Rundle Mall. We always take the position that we design it so it’s a safe space…that would include lighting, line of sights across the place…we’ve also increased the amount of…CCTV throughout various parts of the city…in conjunction with the South Australian Police.”

Laneways in the city of Adelaide will be improved in the next year-year and a half, with a strong focus on art. Mr Haese believes when people cluster together in a public space, no matter the time of day, it generally makes the space safer.

As long as we keep our wits about us, and continue to provide education on street safety to children and young adults, Adelaide will continue to be the safe, community-focused city it prides itself to be.

Listen to the full interview with the Lord Mayor of Adelaide and Neil David below!