Under the Building Safer Communities Program Victorian councils, community organisations and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to apply for grant funding to support innovative, evidence-based approaches to address crime and improve community safety, under two competitive grant streams:

  • Stream 1 - Creating Safer Places – competitive grants of between $25,000-$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 to $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.

Applications under the two competitive grant streams will open on 18 January 2021 and close at 4pm on 15 March 2021.

Late applications cannot be submitted or considered.

The Building Safer Communities Program also includes a third negotiated Stream, the Empowering Communities grants. These grants will be directed to communities where there are identified opportunities to improve community safety and address crime. Selected communities will be invited to participate in a negotiated process to develop proposals which will be assessed for funding suitability.

The new grants will be delivered through 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 all funding streams is outlined below.

Program guidelines and resources to support project applications will be available prior to the grants program opening. 

Eligible organisations are encouraged to use the information provided to start considering possible project ideas as well as other organisations they might partner with to submit an application for funding.

The Building Safer Communities Program also includes a series of community forums to be held in areas of Victoria where there are opportunities to tackle social challenges and crime and improve community safety.


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 - $300,000 per project over two years.

Who can apply?

Victorian councils.

Grant objectives

Creating Safer Places funding aims to:

  • help prevent crime and improve safety and community perceptions of safety
  • encourage the legitimate use of public places by increasing amenity and encouraging a positive sense of ownership of the space
  • assist a diverse range of community members to feel safer and become more engaged in their community
  • encourage the development of local partnerships to understand and address local crime prevention issues

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
  • reasonable costs relating to the delivery of the Perceptions of Safety survey. Further information on the Perceptions of Safety Survey is available on our website.

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.

What will not be funded through this stream?

  • activities that duplicate the funding responsibility of other government departments or programs
  • one off or short-term event related costs that are unlikely to result in a sustained increase in public use of the area
  • costs that are not community crime prevention focused such as road/traffic safety, water safety, fire safety, child safety, Occupational Health and Safety or general maintenance or amenity costs that do not improve security or seek to increase use of a public place
  • costs to enhance infrastructure that does not currently exist or that requires other major works to be completed first
  • projects that can’t be completed by 30 June 2023 or create the need for, or expectation of, further government funding
  • activities that have already commenced for which retrospective funding is sought
  • design costs related to the manufacture or configuration of the infrastructure, project management, legal and administrative costs, planning permits or fees, camera licences, audit services, ongoing maintenance and management costs*

*It is expected that these costs will form part of your contribution to the project if approved for funding.

Special note on applying for CCTV funding

CCTV funding is only available through Stream 1, noting only councils are eligible to apply under this stream. Applications for CCTV will only be considered for public spaces. Councils must confirm they are responsible for owning, managing and maintaining the CCTV system and that access to CCTV storage systems and footage will be limited to council staff and/or Victoria Police.

All councils funded to deliver CCTV systems will be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Victoria Police to inform the management and operation of the system and access to footage. 

Further detail on what to consider when applying for CCTV related costs is available on our website.


Stream 2 – Crime Prevention Innovation Fund

Funding available

$25,000 - $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.

Grant objectives

The Crime Prevention Innovation Fund aims to supports projects that:

  • test new approaches to addressing crime and community safety issues that are evidence based and reflect promising practice
  • actively build capability within the community to understand and address crime and community safety issues
  • contribute to the evidence base of effective crime prevention practice.

Applicants should clearly identify the need for, and likely benefit of their proposed initiative, using evidence.

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.

What will not be funded through this stream?

  • research that is purely academic in nature, and is not used to inform the practical component of a project, or which does not result in practical tools or resources that can be used by communities
  • the development of software applications (apps)
  • activities that provide an unreasonable commercial advantage to the applicant
  • overseas or interstate travel related costs
  • recurring or ongoing operating costs that relate to business-as-usual activities, including employment of staff
  • projects that can’t be completed by 30 June 2023 or create the need for, or expectation of, further government funding.

Special note on Intellectual Property

It is expected that any intellectual property developed by funded projects will be made readily available for community use and the department reserves the right to publish information from funded projects on the crime prevention website at: www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au (External link) This includes evaluation reports, any practical tools or resources developed or any other information that may help to share project learnings with others.  


Stream 3 – Empowering Communities

Funding available

Up to $700,000 per project.

Who can apply?

This is not an open competitive application stream. The department will work directly with communities identified on the basis of data commencing in early 2021, and seek proposals from organisation/s within those communities who are best placed to deliver a crime prevention initiative in partnership with other stakeholders, manage funded activity and manage and acquit government funds. Proposals will then be assessed for funding suitability.

‘Communities’ are defined as groups brought together by geographic location or by shared characteristics such as culture, age or experiences.

Grant objectives

Empowering Communities funding aims to support community designed and delivered projects that take an evidence-informed, innovative approach to address local issues impacting on crime and perceptions of safety. The stream 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.

What can be funded through this stream?

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.

Overview of the grant allocation process

The department will initiate a series of workshops in early 2021 to invite key stakeholders from identified communities to participate in the development of a proposal for funding. These workshops will provide an opportunity to:

  • consider data and other evidence of issues that impact on crime and perceptions of safety in the local area or community to identify a number of possible themes the project could address
  • identify strengths the community could build on, as well as constraints, to prioritise an issue the project will seek to address
  • identify possible ways to address the chosen issue and what will be needed to support a successful project
  • confirm roles and responsibilities for coordinating the development of the proposal and managing the project in conjunction with project partners, if approved for funding

Proposals will be reviewed by the department, and assessed for funding suitability.

The department may seek to renegotiate elements of a proposal to ensure the project proposed is feasible within the time and financial constraints of the program and aligns with the objectives outlined above.

Please note there is no guarantee of funding for each community that may be invited to participate in a negotiated process (or for every proposal developed). An assessment process will be undertaken before selected proposals are recommended for funding.

To apply

Grant applications for the competitive grant Streams 1-2 will open on 18 January 2021 and close at 4pm on 15 March 2021.

Applications must be submitted online via the Crime Prevention website.

The first round of negotiated Stream 3 grant initiatives will be announced early in 2021.


For general enquiries about these grants, email communitycrimeprevention@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)