Safe Communities

A safe community is a place that is attractive to live, work and visit. A safe community is a liveable community, where people can go about their daily activities in an environment without fear, risk of harm or injury. Perceptions of community safety, real or perceived, impact on the way people feel and interact in their community. Community safety is not only about reducing and preventing injury and crime: it is about building strong, cohesive, vibrant, participatory communities.

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Safe Communities accreditation

Invercargill City and Southland District became accredited International Safe Communities in February 2016. Safe Communities is  an integrated approach to addressing community safety. The project Safe in the South follows the Safe Communities model to achieve a safe and healthy city.

Safe in the South worked with existing networks to identify key safety issues in the community and to then develop strategies to address the issues. Alcohol has been identified as a key issue and a contributing factor to family and general violence, road accidents and other social problems. Young people have been identified as a vulnerable group within our communities.

As part on the accreditation process, a panel of experts from Safe Communities NZ Foundation visited the region.

The visit included meeting the Safe in the South Governance Group to discuss strategic plans, data collection and evaluation processes, and also  included demonstrations in areas of road safety, rural crime prevention, water safety, family violence, workplace safety and suicide prevention.

The panel was “extremely impressed” with the commitment and projects demonstrated.

Southland District Council Mayor Gary Tong, the Safe in the South chairman, said: “This is a project that has been on the go for a number of years. The Safe in the South project will bring many networks together and create safe and informed communities.”

Invercargill City Council Deputy Mayor Darren Ludlow said: “A safe community is at the heart of what everybody wants in the place where we live and work. The number of organisations who’ve stepped forward is tremendously encouraging.”

The Governance Group of Safe in the South includes representatives of  the Southland District and Invercargill City Councils, Police, Fire Service, Southern District Health Board, Iwi, Child Youth and Family, ACC and the Chamber of Commerce.