Blue Mountains Safe Communities Consultation Report: Community Aspirations, Values, Concerns and Actions
In 2015, Harwood Ask consultation were conducted in the Blue Mountains and Safety emerged as the top issue amongst the community.
Subsequently, the Blue Mountains Lithgow Integrated Neighbourhood Centres Network (BLINN) made an existing commitment to a Harwood Community Consultation focused on safety that was realised through the Stronger Families Alliance Child and Youth Friendly Cities Implementation Group.
The consultation opened a conversation with people in the community on their definition of a safe community as well as the values, concerns and actions that can make change to make their current community life safer.
Conceptions of safety are highly subjective and can involve many different elements that contribute to a feeling and experience of safety in the community. This report is a first step for the Stronger Families Alliance identified priority on making the Blue Mountains a more Child-Friendly Community. It aims to better understand the views of the community, including children and young people, on what a safe community means to them and some practical areas in which greater community safety can be achieved.
In 2018 541 community members of all ages shared their aspirations, values, concerns and actions to build a safer community in the Blue Mountains. 66% of the responses were from young people under 19 years of age and among these were 8 young people with disabilities (15 – 23 years).
Child safe or child-friendly is a recurrent theme in this report, which highlights broad community support for building a more childsafe and child-friendly community across the Blue Mountains.
What emerges are some recurrent themes in relation to the importance of:
– People treating each other well
– Social and community connection
– Safe roads
– Walking and moving around safely
– Infrastructure that supports safety, e.g. footpaths, lighting and crossings
– Police presence and being safe from crime
– An environment that is clean and well looked after
– Child and youth friendly and safe
We believe future generations will prosper with vibrant, child and youth friendly neighbourhoods and services that nurture wellbeing and resillience.
Alliance members harness the latest evidence about ways to solve complex child, family and community problems to improve outcomes for children and young people in the Blue Mountains.