AGENDA AND BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

Crime Prevention Working Group

 

 

 

To be held on
Monday

25 November 2019

AT 1.00pm

 

 

 

Cnr Baylis and Morrow Streets,
Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
PO Box 20, Wagga Wagga

 

Phone: 1300 292 442
Fax: 02 6926 9199
Website:
www.wagga.nsw.gov.au

 


Reports submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group to be held on Monday 25 November 2019.

Crime Prevention Working Group AGENDA AND BUSINESS PAPER

Monday 25 November 2019

ORDER OF BUSINESS:

CLAUSE               PRECIS                                                                                            PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY                                                                              2

APOLOGIES                                                                                                                      2

Confirmation of Minutes                                                                                          2

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST                                                                                        2

Reports

RP-1            BURNT OUT HOUSES                                                                                    3

RP-2            Closure of Laneways Report for Crime Prevention Working Group   7

RP-3            PROPOSED CLOSURE OF A PEDESTRIAN LANEWAY - WALLA PLACE, GLENFIELD PARK                                                                                                             14

GENERAL BUSINESS/AROUND THE TABLE                                                                    19

ITEM 1        WORKING GROUP MEMBERS

ITEM 2        WAGGA WAGGA LOCAL AREA COMMAND


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

 

 

APOLOGIES

 

Councillor Tim Koschel

Neil Caldicott – Department of Communities and Justice

Simone Jolley – Department of Justice

 

Confirmation of Minutes

CM-1              Crime Prevention Working Group - 26 August 2019       

 

Recommendation

That the Minutes of the proceedings of the Crime Prevention Working Group Meeting held on 26 August 2019 be confirmed as a true and accurate record.

 

 

Attachments

 

1.

Minutes - 26 August 2019

20

   

 

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST


Report submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group on Monday 25 November 2019

RP-1

 

Reports

RP-1               BURNT OUT HOUSES

Author:         Mark Gardiner 

Director:       Janice Summerhayes

         

 

Summary:

At the Crime Prevention Working Group meeting on 26 August 2019, Dr Joe McGirr requested a report back on burnt out houses.

 

 

Recommendation

That the Crime Prevention Working Group receive and note the report.

 

Report

At the Crime Prevention Working Group meeting on 26 August 2019, Dr Joe McGirr requested a report back to the Crime Prevention Working Group Committee on burnt out houses, including:

 

·    Does Council have a list of the number of burnt out houses?

·    How many burnt out houses are privately owned?

·    A list of burnt out houses that Council has orders over?

 

It is not unusual to see some burnt out houses/buildings within urban areas that can take some time before they are either renovated or demolished. There are various circumstances that houses/buildings may be left in a derelict state that creates challenges for resolving the situation. This may include:

 

·   Unresolved insurance claims 

·   Owners unable to afford the upkeep of properties 

·   Absentee owners speculating on cheaper properties for future capital returns  

·   Downturn in financial markets delaying developments

·   Properties being under administration

 

Council is responsible to ensure it is acting in the interest of protecting community health/safety and the environment. There are a number of actions that Council takes in relation to derelict buildings including:

 

·         Controlling overgrown vegetation on the property

·         Ensuring rubbish does not accumulate on the property

·         Requiring buildings to be boarded up to prevent unauthorised entry

·         Requiring land or structures to be fenced off to protect the public

·         Demolition or repairing buildings

 

Staff in the first instance will liaise with the property owner to discuss the particular concern and potential to rectify the issue. Where this is unsuccessful the Local Government Act 1993 allows Council to serve an order on the owner or occupier of land or premises if it is not in a safe or healthy condition. The order requires the owner/occupier to take action to ensure land/premises are placed or kept in a safe or healthy condition.

 

The Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 allows Council to serve orders to:

·   repair or make structural alterations to a building if a building is or is likely to become a danger to the public or is so dilapidated that it is prejudicial to the occupants, persons or property in the neighbourhood.

·   demolish or remove a building if a building is or is likely to become a danger to the public; or is so dilapidated that it is prejudicial to persons or property in the neighbourhood.

 

If the owner fails to carry out the actions required in an order under the Local Government Act or the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act, council has the following options available:

 

·   Issue a Penalty Infringement Notice

·   Take legal action in the Local Court

·   Take legal action in the Land & Environment Court

·   Carry out the actions required in the order and seek to recover the costs from the owner as a debt.

Enforcing an order can be an expensive exercise for Councils as a result of legal action or demolition costs. Demolition costs will depend on the condition of the building and material being removed, but would be approximately $50,000 for an average home that contains asbestos. In situations where a Council proceeds to demolition of a property those costs are required to be recovered from the owner as a debt rather than cost recovered against the property. In situations where owners are in financial difficulty or declared bankruptcy, this debt may be difficult / costly to recover.                 

The following list of properties are those currently being actioned by Council.

Status of Burnt-out Houses – as at 28 October 2019

Address

Owner

Actions Taken

Status

38 Tobruk St Ashmont

Privately Owned

Order to prevent access currently in place.

Awaiting outcome from insurance. Site has been fenced although continues to be damaged.  

9 Buna Street, Ashmont

Privately Owned

Owner contacted

House boarded up. Assessed as currently not posing a hazard. Owner is maintaining surrounds with the intent to repair the building.  

89 Bolger Avenue, Mt Austin

 

Privately Owned

Owner contacted

House boarded up.

Assessed as currently not posing a hazard. 

84 Johnston Street

 

Privately Owned

Owner contacted

Site fenced and asbestos has been removed. Assessed as currently not posing a hazard. Owner is intending to redevelop site in the future.  

32 Tichborne Cr Kooringal

Privately Owned

Demolition order issued and order for fire hazard reduction.

Owner has refused to demolish house and currently has the property listed for sale. Compliance action commenced.   

125 Bourke St Mount Austin

Privately Owned

Owner contacted

Securely fenced, signs erected. Assessed as currently not posing a hazard. Awaiting insurance clearance with intention to demolish.

Council will continue to monitor and liaise with the owners regarding the status of these burnt out houses to ensure community safety is not at risk. Compliance action will be pursued where necessary.   

Financial Implications

Enforcing an order can be an expensive exercise for Councils as a result of legal or demolition costs. Demolition costs will depend on the condition of the building and material being removed but would be approximately $50,000 for an average home that contains asbestos.

In situations where a Council proceeds to demolition of a property, these costs are not able to be placed as a secured debt on the property, but rather recovered from the owner as a personal debt (unsecured debt).  In situations where owners are in financial difficulty or declared bankruptcy, this debt may be difficult/costly to recover.  Council officers will follow Council’s approved Debt Management Policy to recover the debt owed to Council.

Policy and Legislation

Local Government Act 1993

Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979

Council’s Debt Management Policy – POL 017

 

Link to Strategic Plan

Safe and Healthy Community

Objective: We are safe

Outcome: We monitor and enforce public health and safety

 

Risk Management Issues for Council

Council is responsible to ensure it is acting in the interest of protecting community health/safety and the environment. Burnt out buildings can expose the community to risk through potential collapse and exposure to materials such as asbestos. They may also be subject to vandalism or become dumping grounds for other rubbish and materials.

Internal / External Consultation

N/A

 

 

 

  


Report submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group on Monday 25 November 2019

RP-2

 

RP-2               Closure of Laneways Report for Crime Prevention Working Group

Author:         Lisa Saffery 

Director:       Janice Summerhayes

         

 

Summary:

The following report has been developed in response to the request at the first Crime Prevention Working Group, held 26 August 2019 for a report to be written on pedestrian laneway closures.

 

 

Recommendation

That the Crime Prevention Working Group:

a       note and receive this report

b       note that Council staff will undertake a review of laneways in response to the Laneways item 1.2 of the Crime Prevention Plan 2021 and present this review to the Crime Prevention Working Group at the 25 May 2020 Crime Prevention Working Group meeting

 

Report

In developing this report consultation and information was sought from colleagues at NSW Police and Neighbourhood Watch along with internal engagement with Council’s Property management team. In discussions with NSW Police it was identified there was no data relating specifically to laneways and crime, and that if we were to close laneways this may only serve to displace crime. Neighbourhood Watch provided a report recommending treatment of a number of laneways in Glenfield Park.

 

Current status of laneways

In many areas of Wagga Wagga pedestrian laneways are highly valued by the local community and used legitimately for safe, convenient and easy access. These laneways provide valuable opportunities for passive recreation through walking, scooting or cycling to locations which take far longer to reach via the road network.

 

In other locations laneways have been identified by community members as attracting anti-social behaviour, malicious damage, prevalence of graffiti and exit routes for opportunistic crime. In these locations Council on occasion receives requests from neighbouring properties for closure of the laneways.

 

Approaches that Council have taken to closing laneways and the legislative parameters

 

Requests to consider closure

Requests to consider closure of pedestrian laneways within Wagga Wagga Local Government Area occur where local residents are affected by crime or anti-social activities. On these occasions each request has been assessed by liaising with relevant agencies where they have responsibilities for land ownership to seek their feedback and where appropriate progress these community requests to Council for a resolution for closure or otherwise.

 

 

Historical ‘legal (permanent)’ closures of laneways

In previous years Council has worked with NSW State Government to support laneway closures. In 2011 the Design Out Crime Tolland Laneway project was developed, led by the then NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice, to design out eight laneways in the Tolland estate. This project aimed to address high rates of malicious damage and break and enters to properties and infrastructure in the nearby vicinity of the laneways. This project included the realignment of many of the laneways onto adjacent properties and redesigning of nearby fencing to increase Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).

 

This project, as is the case for most legal (permanent) laneway closures, was high cost, at approximately $1,000,000. This included associated legal fees and rework of fencing and property alignments.

 

Temporary closure

The process followed for temporary closure of pedestrian lane ways will depend on the nomination of the land as either 1. Public Road or 2. Public Land. In the case of a public road, the Roads Act 1993 Section 115 (2) (d) for physical closure of pedestrian laneways is utilised like in the case of the Design Out Crime Tolland laneway project as it provides some authority for temporary physical closure of pedestrian laneways to address hazards. In the case of public land, it will be classified as either operational or community land which will determine the process required to be followed for any temporary closures. Generally, before temporary physical closure is undertaken the proposal is subject to public consultation, or a period of public notice. The proposal may be reported to Council depending on the impact and likely feedback from the community.

 

Methods of temporary closure

The most common method of closure is fencing at one end only, although in some circumstance’s fences and/or gates have been installed at both ends.

 

Physical closure through fences and gates is sometimes difficult to achieve due to the following factors;

 

·  existence of infrastructure

·  the need to allow for overland water flows

·  the requirement to allow access to utilities e.g. gas

·  the need for access for continued maintenance

·  the lack of side or front fences of sufficient height / stability to connect with

·  difficulty in securing against determined criminals

·  cost of installation

·  geographical or topographic considerations

 

Case Studies:

 

Case Study: Nardoo Street, Glenfield Park

The below laneway in Nardoo Street, Glenfield Park leads to a public reserve and was legally closed in 2010. At the time of creation easements were sewer and drainage were created. This laneway has been gated at the street end to allow access and fenced with colourbond at the reserve end. None of the adjoining land owners have been prepared to purchase the land. Complaints are still received about antisocial activity/vandalism by one of the neighbours.

 

 

 

Case Study: Undurra Drive, Glenfield Park

This laneway leads to a public reserve along Glenfield Road and was a source of complaints about crime and antisocial activity. Goborra Street provides access to the same reserve approximately 60 metres further along the street. When legal closure was explored it was found to contain gas infrastructure which would require creation of easements if closed. This laneway was sealed with colourbond at both east and west ends with a gate installed to provide access for maintenance. As shown by the picture the fence was set back to align with the house on the left which presents untidily and has created an area for dumping.

 

 

 

Case Study: 18 Yentoo Drive, Glenfield Park

This laneway connects Yentoo Drive with undeveloped land at the rear and was used as a shortcut to Southcity Shopping Centre. An adjoining owner was interested in the closure of this laneway due to crime and antisocial activities. They considered purchase and amalgamation into their lot until they understood costs involved. This lane was fenced at the rear and left open at the front. Council maintenance is still required due to overland flow route.

 

 

 


 

Factors for considerations in relation to request for pedestrian laneway closures throughout Wagga Wagga

There are a number of factors which need to be considered when determining if a laneway is appropriate for either ‘legal’ closure or temporary closure, this includes but is not limited to:

 

Location

·  Where is it?

·  What does it connect to / provide access to?

·  Is it fit for purpose?

·  Will proposed development or strategic changes affect it?

 

Laneway legal Status

·  What is the classification of the laneway

·  Does Council or someone else legally control the laneway?

·  If legally closed who will ‘own’ the land? (neighbours /council/state authority)

 

Purpose

·  Does the laneway carry sewer, stormwater or other infrastructure?

·  Does the laneway provide for overland flow?

·  Is the laneway primarily for pedestrian usage?

 

Usage

·  Number of persons using the laneway?

·  What is the frequency of use?

·  When and why are they using the laneway?

·  What alternative routes are available to pedestrian traffic nearby?

 

Cost

·  What is the cost for legal closure?

·  Who will cover the associated costs?

 

Crime statistics and considerations

·  What types of crime are occurring in/around the laneway, eg. break and enter residential, malicious damage (including graffiti), illegal usage by motor vehicles, assault?

·  What times is the laneway being used for criminal activity?

·  What is the level of passive surveillance?

·  What is the current condition of the laneway?

·  How well is the laneway lit?

·  Existing infrastructure in laneway eg. bollards, gates?

·  Crime statistics for the laneway and nearby residences?

 

The above listed factors are all consideration that need to be taken into account when determining the future of a pedestrian laneway. Processes also need to be put in place to ensure adequate public consultation occurs prior to any decisions are made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potential solutions and design of laneways in new subdivisions

 

Future developments

Wagga Wagga City Council continues to work with developers to design out pedestrian laneways where they are proposed in future planning, unless essential for other purposes. It is noted that new subdivisions such as Gobbagombalin, Tatton and Estella are no longer dedicating pedestrian laneways. However, as recently as 2005, laneways were still being created in subdivisions such as Lloyd.

 

Retrofitting laneways where antisocial / criminal activity is significant

A desk top review of a number of local government areas have given consideration to how to address antisocial behaviour and risks to community in laneways.  In residential areas treatment options have included but are not limited to:

 

·  physically close with fencing / gates

·  adding of infrastructure such as bollards, poles

·  legal closure with property shared or reallocated to neighbour

·  legal closure with land usage changed to allow parks

·  installation of treatments to improve vicinity safety e.g. lights / CCTV

·  reduce access at various hours (eg. between 7pm and 7am)

 

Council social planning team will lead a review of laneways that responds to the item 1.2 listed in the Crime Prevention Plan and takes account of the above considerations. A report of this review will be provided at the 25 May 2020 Crime Prevention Working Group meeting.

Financial Implications

Any process to close laneways will have to consider the relevant total cost implications for the Land owner or affected residents.

Policy and Legislation

Local Government Act 1993

NSW Roads Act 1993

NSW State Environment Planning Policy 2007

Wagga Wagga Local Environment Plan 2010

Wagga Wagga Development Control Plan 2010

Link to Strategic Plan

Safe and Healthy Community

Objective: We are safe

Outcome: We create safe spaces and places

 

Risk Management Issues for Council

Managing public and stakeholder expectations

Managing cost expectations

 

 

 

Internal / External Consultation

Wagga Wagga Local Area Command NSW Police and Neighbourhood Watch and internal with planning and property management.

 

 

 

  


Report submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group on Monday 25 November 2019

RP-3

 

RP-3               PROPOSED CLOSURE OF A PEDESTRIAN LANEWAY - WALLA PLACE, GLENFIELD PARK

Author:         Dianne Wright 

Director:       Michael Keys

         

 

Summary:

This report concerns a proposal to close a pedestrian laneway in Glenfield Park to address community concerns about opportunistic crime and antisocial activities affecting.

 

 

Recommendation

That closure of the pedestrian laneway in Walla Place, Glenfield Park is recommended to address crime and antisocial activities affecting local residents of Walla Place

 

Report

Council has received customer requests from Walla Place residents to close off a pedestrian laneway located between 11 and 12 Walla Place, Glenfield Park. The reason for the request is to address opportunistic crime, vandalism and antisocial activity affecting nearby residents

 

The laneway measures approximately 120 metres by 3 metres, is concreted to full width and provides pedestrian access from Walla Place, Giwang Place and parts of Yentoo Drive to Glenfield Oval, Southcity Shopping Centre, Glenrock Country Practice ( medical centre) , Aldi and Council community facilities on the eastern side of Glenfield Oval.

 

The proposal to temporarily close the laneway will involve fencing off the laneway at the eastern end with colourbond fencing to prevent pedestrian traffic usage. By using this method, the laneway can easily be re-opened to the public if required.

 

This matter was reported to Council on 11 March 2019 with the recommendation that a period of public consultation be conducted, and findings be reported to the Crime Prevention Working Group. Public consultation included;

 

·    Advertising in Council News during April 2019 and Direct mail to all residents residing in Walla Place, Giwang Place and Yentoo Drive residents between Nunkeri Street and Bokara Place, Glenfield Park (approximately 75 letters)

 

Responses were received from 12 residents as depicted on the attached map and summarised below;

 

Overall Responses

Non closure – 7 responses (58%)

Closure – 5 responses (42%)

 

Residences within Walla Place

Non closure – 5 responses (50%)

Closure – 5 responses (50%)

 

 

 

Respondents supporting closure nominated crime and antisocial behaviour as the driver. Respondents who did not support closure generally nominated ease of access and convenience as the being of most importance. The below measurements were taken to show the impact on pedestrian access to Tanda Place. All routes start at the intersection of Walla Place and Yentoo Drive, and end at the Tanda Place cul-de-sac.

 

Route

Distance (m)

Approx. increase (m)

Via Walla Place, the pedestrian laneway and path clockwise around oval

572

Base

Via Walla Place, the pedestrian laneway and path anti-clockwise around oval

605

33

Via Nunkeri Street, Woomera Place and anticlockwise path around oval

662

90

Via Yentoo Drive and clockwise path around oval from 28 Yentoo Drive

717

145

 

As the public consultation did not deliver an overwhelmingly clear response further consultation was undertaken with the NSW Police Service and Family and Community Services (FACS).

 

FACS noted the laneway is not situated in a public housing area, but have not objection. Wagga Police are supportive of the laneway closure due to the high volume of incidents being reported in Walla Place.

 

Given the impact on residents affected by crime and support of the NSW Police Service it is recommended that the Crime Prevention Working Group support physical closure of the pedestrian laneway in Walla Place, Glenfield Park.

 

Financial Implications

N/A

Policy and Legislation

The Roads Act 1993

Link to Strategic Plan

Safe and Healthy Community

Objective: We are safe

Outcome: We create safe spaces and places

Risk Management Issues for Council

Closure of the pedestrian laneway will dissatisfy a significant proportion of the community due to access and convenience issues.


 

Internal / External Consultation

Public consultation - 23 March 2019 and 4 May 2019

NSW Police Service

Family and Community Services

 

 

Attachments

 

1.

Walla Place - mapped consultation responses

 

2.

Location Map - Walla Place, Glenfield Park

 

  


Report submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group on Monday 25 November 2019

RP-3

 


Report submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group on Monday 25 November 2019

RP-3

 

  


Report submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group on Monday 25 November 2019

 

 

GENERAL BUSINESS/AROUND THE TABLE

 

The Mayor, Councillor Greg Conkey OAM as Chair will ask around the table for any general business from each working group member. This will also include any information that the Wagga Wagga Local Area Command representatives wish to table at the working group meeting.

 

 


Reports submitted to the Crime Prevention Working Group to be held on Monday 25 November 2019.