Survey Results Show Residents Feel Safe
Almost 90 per cent of City of Melville residents who responded in the 2011 Community Wellbeing Survey feel safe in their local community, with perceptions of safety improving significantly in the past two years.
Mayor Russell Aubrey said he was extremely pleased to see a rise in the number of residents who feel safe and secure in the community.
“Improving safety in the City is something the Council has purposefully set out to improve by arming residents with information and providing programs as part of the Safer Melville initiative,” he said.
“When respondents were asked to comment on the statement ‘I feel safe in my local community’, 43 per cent of residents strongly agreed, up from 15 per cent in 2009.”
Responses were categorized on a sliding scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
Safer Melville was officially launched in August 2009 as part of the Safer Melville 2008 to 2012 Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan, as well as the re-establishment of the Safer Melville Advisory Committee.
Safer Melville includes, but is not limited to, the Community Safety Service (CSS), a joint partnership with local Police focused on community education, resource provision for residents including free seminars and funding of the Constable Care program in schools.
In April, the City of Melville completed the two yearly Community Wellbeing Survey, conducted by market research company CATALYSE, involving 404 households across a range of ages, genders and locations.
Mayor Russell Aubrey said the study assessed levels of wellbeing in the community and sought to understand how community needs were changing as well as identifying opportunities for improvement.
“Results have shown that overall, the City of Melville continues to offer residents a high quality of life, with 96 per cent satisfied with their overall quality of life – identical to the last survey results in 2009,” he said.
“It’s also pleasing to see almost 90 per cent of respondents feel comfortable asking a neighbour for a small favour, which shows great community spirit.
“There has a been a very large shift in commitment to shopping in the local area – 66 per cent strongly agree they prefer to shop locally, up from 22 per cent two years ago – quite a remarkable shift in a relatively short time frame.
Mayor Russell Aubrey said areas for improvement were identified, including the way the community is consulted and informed on Council decisions as well as sustainable travel.
“While there has been a few per cent increase from last survey, despite the City’s investment in footpaths, scenic walks and bicycle infrastructure, only 16 per cent of residents have used a bicycle at least once a week in the past three months,” he said.
Just 19 per cent of residents have used public transport at least once a week over the past few months − down from 27 per cent in 2009 – and only 22 per cent of residents are making a high effort to use alternative transport.
Other findings from the survey included:
• Overall, 91 per cent of residents rated their health positively - either good, very good or excellent.
• Employment had increased significantly over the past couple of years, with around 7 in 10 people now working.
• While one in two respondents agreed it was easy to find time to participate in community consultation, but many disagree.
• Most respondents (88 per cent) feel safe in their local community.
The current survey method is being evaluated and recommendations will be made for its continuous improvement to ensure it continues to be relevant to community wellbeing and sustainability.
For more information about the survey, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/wellbeingsurvey or call 1300 635 845.
For more information about Safer Melville, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/safermelville.