ACT residents feel safest in Australia

Canberrans continue to feel the safest of anyone in the country when at home or out in the community, according to the 2019-20 Report on Government Services.

ACT fire and rescue services continue to have one of the country’s fastest response times and our road safety statistics are again the best in Australia, reflecting the ongoing commitment of the ACT Government to keeping Canberrans safe.

Community safety

“The ACT community feels safer than any other state or territory when home alone at night and when using public transport,” said Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman.

“This is a testament to the continued trust and confidence of the ACT community in ACT Policing, whose strong performance during a particularly testing year demonstrates their commitment to serving the Canberra community.

“We’ve also made improvements to streetlights and footpaths across the city to make Canberrans feel safer in town centres and public areas, particularly when walking and cycling.”

The 2019-20 Report on Government Services indicates that:

  • 92.6 percent of Canberrans feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood during the day (compared to 90.4 percent nationally)
  • 92.3 percent feel safe at home alone during the night (compared to 88.1 percent nationally)
  • 72.6 percent feel safe on public transport during the day (compared to 66.7 percent nationally)
  • 41.3 percent feel safe on public transport during the night (compared to 33.5 percent nationally).

“The ACT also sees the lowest victimisation rate per 100,000 people for homicide and related offences and is below the national victimisation rate for sexual assault and unlawful entry with intent,” said Minister Gentleman.

“As seen in previous years, the ACT is committed to investing in the diversity of its team. When compared with other police jurisdictions, ACT Policing has the second highest percentage of female staff in the country and is leading the way with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff representation . We will continue to build on this achievement.”

Road safety

“We are pleased that the ACT continues to see the lowest number of road deaths per 100,000 vehicles registered in 2019-20, which reflects the good work being done to keep Canberra drivers safe,” said Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel.

“The ACT Government and ACT Policing actively promotes road safety in our community, educating Canberra drivers about the dangers of speeding and driving to the conditions.”

“Continued improvement of our road-use culture requires a whole-of-community response to actively promote road safety and reduce the incidence of road trauma in our community. In 2019- 20, the ACT Government delivered road safety campaigns in relation to driver distraction, motorcycle awareness, electric scooters, vulnerable road users, school zones and speeding,” said Minister Steel.

Corrective services

“The ACT continues to be a leader in detainee education and training, with a participation rate that is more than double the national average. The ACT government continues to be committed to supporting skill development to help detainees successfully reintegrate into the workforce and community,” said Minister for Corrections Mick Gentleman.

“The ACT has also made significant progress in increasing practical opportunities for released detainees to develop skills that translate into employment

“Recidivism among ex-detainees returning to prison fell in 2019-20 to 37.1 per cent, below the national average of 46 per cent. This is a positive outcome and the ACT Government will continue to focus on reducing recidivism to ensure more detainees successfully reintegrate into the community.”

Emergency services

“For yet another year, ACT Fire & Rescue has the fastest response times in the country, ranging between 9.6 and 10.9 minutes in 2019-20. We remain committed to resourcing, training, and equipping the ACT’s emergency services to ensure they can continue their excellent work keeping our community safe,” said Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman.

“Due to extensive community education, engagement and awareness campaigns on home fire safety advice, smoke alarms and emergency survival plans by ACT Rural Fire Service and ACT Fire & Rescue, the total number of fire incidents attended to has reduced for the third year running from 961 to 881 (down by 8.3%) since 2016-17.

“In 2019-20, the ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) welcomed more than 70 new volunteer recruits, bringing its total membership to 400 members who are ready to help support the ACT community

“The year 2019-20 brought about one of the worst bushfire and storm seasons, which resulted in extensive damage from severe weather activities. The ACTSES attended 1,782 total incidents in 2019-20, an increase of 210% from 574 in 2018-19 and received approximately 3,674 requests for assistance from the community following the Territory’s largest hailstorm in January 2020.

“I am proud of the commitment, courage and professionalism of all members of ACTF&R, ACTAS, ACTRFS and ACTSES who achieved impressive results in such a challenging year. Prioritising community safety and education during an emergency remains one of the ACT Government’s main focuses as our city continues to grow.”

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