Applications have now closed for grants under the Building Safer Communities Program to support innovative approaches to address the causes of offending, crime and community safety.

Under the Building Safer Communities Program Victorian councils, not-for-profit organisations and other stakeholders have the opportunity to apply for grant funding under two competitive grant streams:

  • Stream 1 - Creating Safer Places – competitive grants of between $25,000 and $300,000 for councils to undertake urban design projects that apply an inclusive environmental design approach to deter crime, increase safety and activate public places.
  • Stream 2 - Crime Prevention Innovation Fund - competitive grants of between $25,000 and $300,000 for councils, not for profit community organisations and other specialist organisations for partnership projects that deliver and evaluate innovative community safety and crime prevention initiatives.

Applicants should aim to use evidence, engage and consult with community members, and foster partnerships to develop proposals for effective initiatives.

The new grants are part of the Community Crime Prevention Program and replace the previous grants programs, which included the Public Safety Infrastructure Fund, Graffiti Prevention Grants and Community Safety Fund. 

Detailed information on the funding available and the eligibility criteria for both funding streams is outlined below.

Applications for the next round of competitive grants will open on Monday 15 November 2021 and close at 4pm on Friday 11 February 2022.

Information on the funding available and the eligibility criteria for both funding streams is outlined below. Detailed program guidelines will be released to coincide with the program opening in November.

 

Stream 1 – Creating Safer Places

Creating Safer Places supports urban design projects that apply an inclusive environmental design approach to deter crime, increase safety and activate public places. 

Funding available:

$25,000 to $300,000 per project over two years.

Who can apply?

Victorian councils.

What can be funded?

Applicants will be encouraged to incorporate a combination of the following elements in their project to reflect the needs of the community:

  • inclusive urban design principles to enhance the safety and amenity of public spaces for a diversity of community members, including graffiti prevention measures       
  • place-making initiatives that increase community ownership and use of a location             
  • consultation with a diverse range of community members in the design and implementation of the project, noting reasonable consultation costs can be covered by the grant 
  • education or awareness initiatives that address reasons for poor perceptions of safety in an area, such as graffiti.

In their applications, councils will be required to clearly identify the need for and benefit of the urban design initiative, using evidence such as community surveys and other relevant data.

Useful resources

A number of resources are available to assist with the development of the Building Safer Communities applications. Program resources can be found here. (External link)

 

Stream 2 – Crime Prevention Innovation Fund

Funding available

$25,000 to $300,000 per project over two years.

Who can apply

Victorian councils and not-for-profit organisations that are a legal entity are eligible to apply. Research bodies and commercial entities (such as consultancies, universities or social enterprises) can also apply but must partner with a council or community organisation on their application.

What can be funded?

Funding is available for a range of innovative projects that address the above objectives.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • demonstration projects to test and evaluate new approaches to preventing crime that consider how benefits may be sustained beyond the funding period
  • the development of practical tools and resources to improve the understanding and/or management of crime and community safety related issues
  • initiatives that work with and engage diverse communities or groups (such as cultural or religious groups, women, young people or members of the LGBTQI community) to identify, test and document practical strategies that build resilience and improve safety and perceptions of safety
  • initiatives that establish or strengthen partnerships across community, business, sport, government services and other sectors to address the causes of offending and crime and build community cohesion and safety.

Useful resources

A number of resources are available to assist with the development of the Building Safer Communities applications. Program resources can be found here (External link)

 

Stream 3 – Empowering Communities

Funding available

Up to $700,000 per project over two years.

What can be funded?

The stream has an emphasis on collaboration, partnerships and leveraging contributions across government and community agencies. All projects must include an evaluation. Grant funding may be used to resource a research organisation to support evaluation activities and capability building as part of the project.

Grant objectives

Empowering Communities funding aims to support community designed and delivered initiatives that take an evidence-informed, innovative approach to address local issues impacting on crime and perceptions of safety. This initiative also aims to: 

  • build the capability of the community to understand crime related issues and design and implement effective crime prevention approaches
  •  strengthen relationships between community stakeholders to work in partnership to deliver crime prevention activity, and leverage community capacity to deliver sustainable outcomes beyond the funding period
  • engage and mobilise the community to address issues of local concern
  • build the evidence base for successful community development initiatives that address crime and safety issues.

Find out more about the Empowering Communities grants

Funded projects

Almost $4.4 million in grants funding has been awarded to Victorian councils, not-for-profit organisations and other stakeholders under the first round of the new Building Safer Communities Program.

Six councils, two universities and eight community organisations have received funding to deliver 16 innovative projects to address the causes of crime and improve community safety.

Funded projects are listed below by the Department of Justice and Community Safety Regions (External link) that they are located within.

 

Baron South West

Organisation: Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Limited

Project: Cultural Revival and Cultural Safety for our Young People on Wathaurong Country

Grant funding: $300,000

About the project:

The project aims to create a culturally embedded Healing Place on Wathaurong Country aimed at Aboriginal children and young people and to develop a regional Aboriginal Cultural Safety toolkit and associated resources for use across the justice service sector.

 

Hume

Organisation: The Centre for Continuing Education Inc

Project: Finding Strengths

Grant funding: $300,000

About the project:

This pilot program will provide an intensive case management, therapeutic and education approach to support education and employment pathways for young people.

 

Loddon Mallee

Organisation: Mildura Rural City Council

Project: Rio Vista Park Space Activation - Lock 11 Amenity Upgrade

Grant funding: $268,431

About the project:

The project will install lighting, new toilet facilities, landscaping and CCTV at Rio Vista Park in Mildura to be complemented by public activities and events to prevent crime and improve perceptions of public safety.

Organisation: First People of the Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal Corporation

Project: Aboriginal Youth Cultural Mentoring Program

Grant funding: $300,000

About the project:

The project will employ a Case Manager to work in partnership with Youth Justice to provide culturally appropriate support to Indigenous youth who have had contact with the justice system; arrange cultural mentoring, wellbeing support and behavioural change programs for young Aboriginal people to increase connection to country and prevent crime in the Mildura area.

 

North West Metropolitan

Organisation: Moreland City Council

Project: A Safer Fawkner Community Hub

Grant funding: $300,000

About the project:

The project will install lights, activation equipment and landscaping at the Fawkner Community Hub/CB Smith Reserve to be complemented by a range of free public events and engagement activities in the park.

Organisation: Melbourne City Council

Project: Project Night Justice: Enhancing Women and Gender Diverse People’s Safe Access to the City Late At Night

Grant funding: $193,000

About the project:

The project aims to improve personal safety for women and gender diverse people visiting the Melbourne CBD at night through a suite of activities including holding a Night Safety Summit and developing a Night Safety Charter, implementing a sexual assault behaviour change and awareness raising campaign, and a Good Night Out Accreditation program.

Organisation: Banyule City Council

Project: Towards a Safe, Strong and Resilient Somali Community in Banyule

Grant funding: $299,600

About the project:

The project aims to better support the Somali-Australian community through a suite of activities including parenting support, life skill development activities for young people, employment related support, and cultural competence development activities for mainstream local services.

Organisation: Paramount Chief Kuol Adol Incorporated

Project: South Sudanese community mentor program for young people at risk

Grant funding: $300,000

About the project:

This project will deliver a culturally specific mentoring program for young South Sudanese Australians, aged 13 to 15, living in Melbourne’s West, who have older siblings engaged in the youth justice system combined with community-led peer-support to mothers and families.

Organisation: North Richmond Community Health Ltd

Project: Deferred Prosecutions Pilot program

Grant funding: $292,120

About the project:

This project will implement an adult pre-charge diversion pilot program in the City of Yarra for individuals facing criminal charges to address factors that contribute to offending and reduce subsequent criminal activity.

 

South East Metropolitan

Organisation: Greater Dandenong City Council

Project: A Community Engagement and Partnership Approach to Improve Hemmings Street Precinct Safety

Grant funding: $219,000

About the project:

The project will implement a community-led infrastructure and activation project in the Hemmings Street Precinct of Dandenong incorporating CCTV, improved lighting, landscaping, streetscape upgrades and community engagement events to improve safety and perceptions of safety.

Organisation: Kingston City Council

Project: Safer Foreshore Hubs in Kingston

Grant funding: $300,000

About the project:

The project will install CCTV and deliver a community safety campaign and engagement events at activity precincts in Mordialloc, Chelsea and Carrum to increase feelings of safety, public confidence and reduce crime.

 

North West Metropolitan and South East Metropolitan

Organisation: Youth Activating Youth Inc.

Project: Drop the Knife, Save a Life

Grant funding: $297,000

About the project:

This project aims to develop an educational campaign addressing knife crime, working with secondary schools and communities in Brimbank, Wyndham, Maribyrnong, Melton, Hume, Moreland, Moonee Valley, City of Melbourne, and Greater Dandenong to provide knowledge, support and increase public perception of community safety.

Organisation: Law and Advocacy Centre for Women Ltd

Project: Community Support Pathways for Women

Grant funding: $299,488

About the project:

The project combines involvement with community sporting clubs and activities with case management and peer support to build protective factors against contact with the justice system among women living in metropolitan Melbourne.

Organisation: Swinburne University of Technology

Project: Supporting Pasifika Islander youth towards positive life trajectories

Grant funding: $172,655

About the project:

The project will co-design and test a culturally accepted practice model and tools for supporting positive life trajectories among Pasifika young people including through engagement in education.

Organisation: Big Hart Inc.

Project: Father, Brother, Sister, Lover

Grant funding: $240,000

About the project:

This project aims to use digital art workshops, mentoring and peer to peer messaging to prevent the use of coercive control among students in Years 5-8 at schools in Frankston North.

Organisation: Monash University

Project: Feeling safe in public places: Co-designing community safety strategies in Local Government Areas

Grant funding: $296,994

About the project:

This project will develop place-based strategies in Monash, Wyndham and Melton and a toolkit to enhance feelings of safety and prevent crime and victimisation in public spaces for women and people from migrant backgrounds.

Forums

Building Safer Communities forums will be held in 11 communities across Victoria where there are opportunities to tackle social challenges and crime and improve community safety. 

The forums enable government and local agencies to hear directly from the community about the crime and safety issues that matter to them. Attendees include local councils, community organisations, community members, local police, youth services, schools and crime prevention experts. 

Four highly successful forums have already been held in Brimbank, Hume, Ballarat and Melton, and further forums will be delivered in 2021 and 2022. 

Find out more about the Building Safer Communities forums.

Assistance

For general enquiries about these grants, email communitycrimeprevention@justice.vic.gov.au (External link) or phone 1300 221 249.