About the grants

Grants overview

The Community Safety Fund grants provide funding of up to $25,000 for community organisations and Victorian councils to support effective crime prevention initiatives within local communities.

Applications must be submitted online via this website.

Applications for the 2019-20 Community Safety Fund are now closed.

Grant objectives

The objectives of the Community Safety Fund grants are to:

  • help prevent crime in communities
  • assist people to feel safer and become more engaged in their communities
  • increase knowledge in local communities about how to identify and best address local crime problems
  • encourage the development of local partnerships to address local crime prevention issues
  • promote widespread engagement in community crime prevention initiatives across Victoria
  • strengthen the community's understanding of the justice system.

Why is the Victorian Government funding these grants?

A common assumption about crime prevention is that it is the responsibility of government alone.

While the role of government is very important, research supports locally based approaches to crime prevention.

The grants aim to encourage communities to design solutions to local crime and community safety issues.

What is crime prevention?

Crime prevention looks at what can be done to prevent crime and offending before it occurs. This can include improving building security to prevent break-ins, improving the amenity of an area to encourage greater use and thereby deter criminal or anti-social behavior, or increasing the community’s awareness of how to protect themselves and their belongings.

Crime prevention activities seek to influence people, environments or neighbourhoods to reduce the likelihood that crime will occur.


Who can apply?

An organisation can apply for a grant if it is one of the following:

  • a not-for-profit organisation that is a legal entity (for example an incorporated association, incorporated cooperative or Indigenous corporation)
  • a Victorian council.

The following organisation types are ineligible to apply for a grant but may be engaged as partners in any project:

  • state or federal government departments and agencies, including Victoria Police
  • registered schools, pre-schools, TAFE institutes and universities
  • for-profit businesses
  • unincorporated organisations.

Non-compliance with previous Department of Justice and Community Safety funding agreements may be considered when assessing an applicant’s suitability for funding under the Community Safety Fund grants.

Information for unincorporated organisations

An unincorporated organisation may only access grants if an eligible organisation applies on its behalf. This is known as an ‘auspice’ arrangement. For example, applications from individual scouts and guides groups must be made by their respective head offices or another eligible organisation.

Only unincorporated organisations are able to be auspiced in this way, applications that involve auspice arrangements for the other ineligible organisations identified above, will not be considered.

If your application is successful, the ‘auspice’ organisation agrees to take the full legal and financial responsibility for the project. Grant funds are paid directly to the ‘auspice’ organisation. Find more information about auspicing arrangements at www.nfplaw.org.au/auspicing (External link)

What can be funded?

The Community Safety Fund grants will provide funding for projects that respond to a crime prevention issue or deliver a crime prevention or justice related education and awareness initiative within a local Victorian community.

Projects must be completed by 31 January 2021. Projects should have a clear start and end date and deliver crime prevention benefits which last beyond the project timeframes.

Grant funding is available under two streams:

Stream 1 – Improving safety and security

Funding available - up to $10,000

This funding stream will support projects that deter offending related to community facilities and public spaces. Eligible projects include:

•   security equipment and infrastructure such as locks, vandal-proof security lighting, security screens, alarms (without video surveillance), fencing and gates

•   small-scale, physical improvements and upgrades to public spaces such as streetscapes, parks and reserves. This may include the purchase of lighting, street furniture or other equipment to improve community perceptions of safety and use of these areas.

Quotes must be provided for all infrastructure requested through Stream 1.

If you are considering applying for lighting, security alarms or fencing initiatives, please see the relevant fact sheets on this website.


Projects requesting funding towards dividing fences must reflect a financial contribution from neighbouring land owners (except for neighbouring crown land). See the fencing fact sheet for further information.

For all other projects, co-contributions are encouraged and will be considered in assessing whether the project represents value for money.

Stream 2 – Crime prevention and safety education and awareness initiatives

Funding available - up to $25,000

This funding stream will support education and awareness initiatives which focus on the following areas:

Home safety
Initiatives that help people take preventative measures and demonstrate behaviours to make their homes less vulnerable to crime.

Theft of and from motor vehicles
Initiatives that reduce the risk of motor vehicle theft, and theft of property from motor vehicles.

Theft from businesses
Initiatives that reduce the risk of theft from businesses.

Theft of personal property in public places
Initiatives that encourage community members to take steps to reduce the likelihood of theft of personal items in public places.

Understanding the Victorian justice system
Education initiatives that support better understanding of the justice system in Victoria and encourage positive engagement with justice services. 

Education and awareness initiatives can be designed and delivered in a range of formats.  This may include social media campaigns, community events, videos, education workshops and print and online resources.

A comprehensive approach to delivering an education and awareness initiative requires detailed planning, and consideration of the format and delivery to ensure it will be effective in engaging the intended audience and is relevant to the local context. 

Applicants need to demonstrate a comprehensive approach to developing their education and awareness initiative. Successful applicants will be required to consult with the department’s communication team about how the initiative will be designed and implemented.

If you are considering applying for a grant to deliver a ‘Understanding the Justice System’ program, you are encouraged to contact the department to discuss your ideas before you submit your application. Contact the department by emailing: csfgrants@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Features of good crime prevention projects

Good crime prevention projects:


  • seek to understand the problem well

A facility experiencing repeated vandalism and burglaries completes a safety audit to see where the building is vulnerable prior to identifying solutions.

  • consider evidence about what works

A crime prevention awareness initiative targeting theft considers what has worked elsewhere in designing a campaign.

  • carefully select your target audience/s
Carefully consider who are the members of the community you want to speak to or engage with as part of your education and awareness initiative. The target audience will influence your communication and engagement approach.
  • engage well with the community

Local residents are engaged to address local crime problems through beautifying a local reserve and making it more appealing for a mix of people in the community to use it. In doing so, residents develop relationships with local community organisations, businesses, council and Victoria Police and understand how they can contribute to making their area safer.

  • provide benefits that last beyond the project

Crime prevention education resources are developed that can be used by the organisation and others beyond the funding timeframes. Relationships are created through a project which will support future community crime prevention activity.

  • involve the right people

A project seeking to develop a local theft from motor vehicle awareness campaign actively involves relevant organisations such as council, local businesses, and Victoria Police to ensure the project is well targeted and delivering an evidence-based response.

  • plan well and deliver what they say

An organisation planning installation of a range of security equipment develops a breakdown of key tasks, assigns key responsibilities, and anticipates and plans for potential issues that may delay the project.

  • review the impact of project activities

An organisation delivering a project to transform a local laneway is clear about what project success looks like. Information is collected prior to and after the project to help demonstrate the impact of activity. Lessons learned are identified to inform future projects.

What will not be funded?

Applications that do not meet the requirements outlined in ‘What can be funded’ will not be considered. The following will also not be considered for funding:

  • projects focused on road, water, fire, workplace or child safety (for example fencing for a child care centre)
  • projects focused on addressing family violence
  • CCTV and small security camera projects (including alarm systems that include video surveillance)
  • security infrastructure for registered schools, pre-schools, TAFE institutes and universities
  • education and awareness activities not targeting the areas nominated in Stream 2
  • panic alarms
  • security equipment and infrastructure items not supported by a quote in Stream 1
  • activities that are the primary focus or responsibility of other government programs
  • activities with a primary focus on graffiti prevention or removal
  • reimbursement of costs for projects that have already started
  • building structures (including sheds)
  • security equipment for buildings under construction or part of a larger building project or redevelopment
  • fences that do not contain a co-contribution from neighbours (where relevant).

What doesn’t work?

Some crime prevention responses can have the opposite effect to that intended. For example:

  • lighting an area not used at night can attract unwanted attention and make it more vulnerable
  • installing high fencing that people cannot see through reduces natural surveillance and can provide a blank canvas for graffiti
  • developing a Facebook campaign targeting the elderly who may not be frequent users of social media.


Assessment criteria

As the grants are competitive, the following criteria are used to decide which applications should be funded.

The application demonstrates:

  • need for the project, supported by local information
  • a clear explanation for the proposed activities (what the project involves and will deliver)
  • clear reasons for why the proposed activities have been chosen to address the identified crime issue
  • clear crime prevention benefits, which last beyond the project timeframes
  • a way of reviewing the project to show whether or not it is successful
  • a planned approach showing that all activities can be realistically completed by 31 January 2021
  • value for money
  • consultation and engagement with people/groups with an interest in what the project will achieve.

Targeted crime prevention education and awareness initiatives only

  • ability of the organisation, or confirmed partners, to deliver the project.

Additional assessment considerations

In selecting successful applications, the Department of Justice and Safety will also consider:

  • prioritising funding to communities with the highest level of need
  • supporting a fair spread of locations across the state
  • whether an organisation has previously received a Community Crime Prevention Program grant, and how well that grant was managed.

Assessment process

1.   Applications are assessed for eligibility.

2.  Eligible applications are then assessed for merit against criteria.

3.  Recommendations for funding are made to the Minister for Crime Prevention for approval. The minister’s decision is final.

4.  Applicants are advised of application outcomes within approximately three months of applications closing, subject to the number of applications received.

Grant management responsibilities

Funding agreement

Once projects have been approved for funding by the Minister for Crime Prevention, the Department of Justice and Community Safety will prepare a funding agreement that includes a standard set of terms and conditions, and project-specific reporting requirements.

The funding agreement will be adjusted for each successful application, based on information provided by the applicant.

Grant recipient responsibilities

Grant recipients will be responsible for:

  • entering into a funding agreement with the Department of Justice and Community Safety and complying with the funding agreement
  • submitting a final report to acquit the grant
  • ensuring the project adheres to all occupational health and safety regulations and other applicable laws
  • ensuring appropriate arrangements are in place to sustain the project benefits.

Payment processes

Upon receiving a signed funding agreement, the Department of Justice and Community Safety will make a payment that is equal to 100 per cent of the total grant funding for Stream 1 projects.  For Stream 2 projects, payment will be distributed across multiple milestones.  Recipients are not required to invoice the department.

Additional information


Additional resources that may assist you in applying for a grant are available on the website (www.crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/safetygrants) including:

Further information

If after reading the guidelines you have further questions about the Community Safety Fund grants please contact the Grants Information Line on 1300 221 249 from 8:30am to 5:00pm weekdays.

Alternatively, you may contact the Department of Justice and Community Safety Community Crime Prevention Unit by email: csfgrants@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

If you experience technical difficulties while writing or submitting your application online, please contact SmartyGrants Support by phone (03) 9320 6888 or email: service@smartygrants.com.au (External link) 

Community Crime Prevention
Department of Justice and Community Safety
Date of Publication

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