Research into perceptions of safety in Victoria has led to the development of a new survey tool for local government to measure how safe people feel in their communities.  

Led by a team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Monash University and the London School of Economics, the study involved interviews with almost 3000 Victorians from 70 communities across the state.  

The research was commissioned to better understand Victorians’ perceptions of crime and safety and what actions they take in response to fear of crime. This will help to inform a strategic, evidence-based approach to crime prevention and community safety.  

The findings revealed that frequent and intense worry about crime was not widespread in Victoria, and that the most effective way to reduce worry about crime in a broader community is through pro-social activities that encourage community cohesion and connectedness.  

A key outcome of the research has been the development of a new survey tool for local councils to use to measure and better understand perceptions of crime and safety within their own communities, and how they can improve these perceptions.  

With the research findings showing a strong link between community building and perceptions of safety, local councils are encouraged to use the results from the survey tool to develop targeted safety and community building initiatives. This may include positive community engagement initiatives, partnership building and supporting local community groups. 

Download the survey tool and read principles and tips to assist with flexible but robust use of the survey. Local councils who are interested in using the survey tool are also encouraged to contact the Community Crime Prevention Unit to discuss the methodology that will best suit their needs. Contact the unit by emailing: communitycrimeprevention@justice.vic.gov.au (External link) 

The full research report can be accessed on the University of Sydney website (External link)