We have received an Empowering Communities grant to improve safety from the Victorian Government. The funding under the Building Safer Communities program aims to address the underlying causes of crime and community safety issues and will support local solutions in community-led projects.

A diverse range of the Knox community were engaged to understand what the main key safety concerns are, the underlying causes, and what Knox Empowering Communities should be focused on to improve safety.

A total of 275 people were engaged from May to October 2022 through the:

  • Community Safety Forum
  • Have your Say survey
  • Pop up at Knox Festival
  • Conversations with Council's Advisory Committees
  • Focus groups with our First Nations community and school students.

What you told us

The top three crime concerns were

What we should focus on to improve safety

We heard the key areas we should focus on to improve safety are

Local solutions

Throughout our engagement activities, a key question discussed was what local solutions could address the underlying causes and in turn, have an impact on improving safety. Discussions generated a mass of ideas and comments on what was needed with a number of strong themes emerging:

  • Improving connection in neighbourhoods and community
  • Improving respect and tolerance
  • Improving mental health
  • Reducing disadvantage
  • Reducing drug and alcohol misuse

Links between these themes and many of the underlying causes was identified.

Using the findings

Findings from the engagement activities have informed what the focus of the Knox Empowering Communities program will be and what projects will be prioritised for funding.

Extensive consideration was given to the engagement findings, latest crime and community safety data, demographic data, the objectives and what is within the scope of the Empowering Communities program.

Connecting community was agreed to be the overall focus of Knox Empowering Communities. This has a positive influence on safety and many of the identified causes and allows for a wide range of local solution projects to be implemented under this banner.