Community Safety - A Neighbourhood Effort

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today encouraged Caloundra residents to continue to work together with their neighbours on home security to ensure community control over safety in their homes and street.  
It comes as news reports of crime spikes throughout Pelican Waters, Golden Beach and Caloundra CBD have been on the rise since the beginning of the year.
Mr McArdle said that while there are concerns about crime around Caloundra, the community should use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate home security measures and consider getting to know more people in their neighbourhood. 
“Saying ‘Hello’ to your neighbour and being on a first name basis with the people who live near you can go a long way to help prevent crime in a neighbourhood. If people know their neighbour it helps break down barriers and leads to keeping an eye on each other and property” Mr McArdle said. 
“What’s more is that the connection between residents can help restore ones sense of security at home.” 
Safety fears have been growing among Caloundra residents with reports that incidents of break-ins, arson and assaults are increasing. However Mr McArdle said that residents should talk to local police if they are worried about crime increasing in their area and perhaps join Neighbourhood Watch groups to help spread the message.
“It is important to remember that news reports and stories on social media that tell us about “sudden spikes in crime” give a sense that there is more crime occurring overall –that isn’t always the case.” Mr McArdle said. 
“I want to stress that Caloundra is a safe place. I am not saying we don’t have problems. Of course we do and we need to be vigilant. Prompt reporting of suspicious behaviour helps police build a profile of your suburb.” Mr McArdle said. 
“We should not let these reports create fear in us and we must use them as a timely reminder to double check our safety plans with respect to our home, vehicle and personal security.” Mr McArdle said.  

Mr McArdle said that there are a number of simple steps that we can all take which include: 

  • Locking doors and garage doors in your home, particularly when you are on the other side of your home.  
  • Never leave valuables including keys, wallets or phones in plain view
  • Consider installing key locks on windows but remember there is a question of fire safety to be considered here. 
  • Place padlocks on side gates to your yard
  • If you have an Alarm – set it
  • Lock your vehicle when it is in the street, driveway or garage
  • Do not leave keys in security locks 
  • Remove external objects that can be used as ladders
  • Avoid leaving valuable items such as garden tools in public view
  • Get to know your neighbours 
  • Report any suspicious behaviour to police as that can prevent and solve crime

 Earlier this year Caloundra community safety had a win with the Federal Government committing $140,000 to the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce to work with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to roll CCTV across the CBD.
“After 10 long years of fighting CCTV will finally make it into Caloundra.” Mr McArdle said. 
“Bulcock Street will now have the cameras in place to keep you safe at night. And while we know that CCTV may not prevent a crime from taking place, it can help catch the criminal.” Mr McArdle said.   
“We need to be proactive, diligent and most important we need to work together as a community to ensure that everyone is safe and that they themselves feel safe.” Mr McArdle concluded.