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Belconnen residents fairly happy with Belconnen amenities

The Belconnen community web site’s e poll over the last few years on entertainment and restaurants has revealed substantial satisfaction with entertainment but lesser, although still majority, satisfaction with restaurants.


Are you satisfied with entertainment provided in Belconnen?


75 per cent said they were satisfied with entertainment options and 25 per cent were not.


Are you happy with the range of restaurants in Belconnen?


57.1 per cent replied yes and 42.8 per cent were not.

Below are comments submitted by respondents:

More theatre with a proper theatrette at the Belconnen Arts Centre, more classical music recitals
Fine dining, more restaurants with the Lake views
I have lived in Belconnen for over 30years and there were several attempts to have theatre both at Jamison and Kippax venues but they were not successful, time to try again!!!


Belconnen doesn't need any more development. The new apartment blocks going up are hideous, and are ruining the lake for everyone else, not to mention increasing the population whilst reducing the ability to park anywhere. If you can't find what you want in Belconnen already you are too fussy to please, and should go and live elsewhere, perhaps Sydney would suit you better.


As we get older, my wife and I are less and less likely to go to Belconnen, especially in the evening or night. There seems to be an increasingly rough element frequenting Belconnen. This element can often be threatening and intimidating. We don't feel safe enough anymore. You can't even go to the picture theatre without there being loud and aggressive arguments over seating.


It is very telling that young people in the area are referring to Belconnen as 'Belcompton'. This is a clear reference to the demographics and problems faced in Compton California USA.


Foreshore art exhibits at least monthly, sourced from local amature artists and students.
Cheap but interesting food stalls around lake foreshore at lunchtimes. Area set aside for vendors.
As with all things in Belconnen, it would be good to let people know about what is happening in the area by pamphlet drop to all residences before the event happens. No one knows, no one goes.

I'm in Hawker, female and 50 and don't go out much. I'm satisfied with what's on offer around the Belco region for me. There are pubs and clubs for music and drinking. There are plenty of cheap to expensive restaurants of varying cuisines. Cinemas - tick. Library - tick. Parks - tick. It's enough choice for when the urge kicks in to get out and about


More cafe's especially around the lake
Comment = No high rise buildings!

More variety, including fine dining and interesting cuisine. Less franchise and better quality, more contemporary cuisine.
Think more Kingston foreshore and less Westfield food court.
Should move fast food take aways from the fore shore and re-develop for better pedestrian access (particularly from the apartments around the lake area) and more/some atmosphere so people spend time there, meeting friends for a drink etc. Be great to incorporate art centre too. Ha Ha has been a standout bringing in done cultural events as well as good food.


Belconnen needs more vibrancy like Kingston, Braddon and Manuka starting with more premium waterfront low level (1-2 storey) developments around the lake/use of existing area for opera, theatre shows, dendy movies, art centres, farmers markets & art and craft shows/markets along the lake green space on weekends. Hip trendy bars are also essential. It needs to have life injected into the place.
As is well known its a disgrace having fast food chains on premium waterfront land in Belconnen and these would be better suited as extensions to the Westfield or along other open carpark areas away from the lake. Benjamin Way needs to be converted to the likes of Lonsdale Street in Braddon with cool, hip bars, cafes and restaurants (some have started but this trend needs to be continued/encouraged). Ground floor of offices/older blocks need to be converted to restaurants with alfresco dining options along the footpaths of Benjamin Way and then Lathlian Street. The waterfront needs to be revamped with low level premium dining in the likes of the Kingston foreshore or darling harbour in Sydney.
Belconnen needs to have more activity/nightlife with trendy bars, hip cafes along with an active "happening" feel during the day.


An equivalent of Melbourne's Lygon Street, and also matching its size to Little Italy. Also a Little Greece similar to shops in Oakleigh in Melbourne.
I cannot find any traditional fish'n'chips shops as per Melbourne, no traditional charcoal chicken or small kebab kiosks/small caravans (near petrol stations/car cleaning) open all night as per Melbourne. Too many "chain" restaurants, make the area feel sterile.
Extended hours beyond 10pm.
Food strips similar to Melbourne's Lygon Street, that some restaurants and coffee shops are open until 3am.

Roller derby
Woodfired pizza; dumplings and yum cha; more (better) noodles; more Turkish pizza; more pubs (pubs, as opposed to bars).

 

 

 

Comment

 

Crime

Almost a Quarter of all Canberra Burglaries Take Place in Belconnen

Burglary, theft and property damage remain key crimes in Belconnen but that does not mean you need to fall victim. Despite concerted police efforts, official statistics for the first half of 2013 reveal Belconnen District continues to be a Canberra hotspot for motor vehicle theft, general theft and burglary. Residents in the district's 25 suburbs had to endure 96 vehicles thefts and 250 burglaries in first half of the year more than any other Canberra district. This accounts for almost a quarter of all the stolen vehicles and burglaries in Canberra. There were 16 reported vehicle thefts in the suburb of Belconnen alone. Fyshwick was the only other suburb to record as many, with Canberra City recording 15. Belconnen also recorded a Canberra high 385 cases of property damage, also more than City (383 cases). There were almost 1700 cases of general theft and property damage in the district only Canberra recorded more with slightly more than 1900 cases.,

Crime Down But Not Out

While the area remains a hotspot, vehicle thefts and burglaries are on the decline. Between 2009 and 2012, police brought down car theft rates in Belconnen from 433 to 227 coinciding with a city-wide halving in incidents (from 2198 to 1137). However, this reduction appears to have slowed in 2013 and Belconnen's proportion of incidents increased. The district has consistently accounted for just under a quarter of Canberra's motor vehicle thefts. It is a similar positive story with burglaries in Belconnen, which followed a greater downward trend to drop from 1303 incidents in 2009 to 496 in 2012. Incidents of property damage and theft declined from 2009 (4701) to 2011 (3223) but have shown little further downwards movement since and police emphasise the need to stay vigilant.

Protecting Your Home

Avoiding becoming a victim can be as easy as tacking a few simple proactive and protective steps. Getting to know yourneighbours can be an easy first step to vastly improving your security that is both free and effective, while Belconnen District's Neighbourhood Watches provide a link to the community and local police. A recurring message from police is to ensure you always lock your house and car doors, even when you are at home. Cars stolen by burglars who swiped keysfrom a hall table of an unlocked house remains an all-too common story. As do stories of opportunistic burglars targeting unlocked vehicles, especially vehicles owners feel they have safely parked in their drive. Other key steps to deter crooks include evaluating a home's windows, doors and lights for security, and minimising yard obstructions that could conceal intruders with a comprehensive safety audit sheet available here. However, all the preventative steps in the world cannot always deter a determined crook, so it remains vital to protect your home with insurance.

Protecting Your Business

With evidence emerging that crime against SMEs is increasing particularly as the Global Financial Crisis continues to bite in Australia it is more important than ever to protect your business. The 2013 Small Business Crime Index found more than a third of SMEs were affected by crime and three in five lost 5 per cent annual profit to crime. For more traditionalshop-based businesses protection can start by taking the simple steps to minimise risk, such regular stock audits, installing security cameras and properly screening staff. More high-risk or niche businesses face different challenges. A recent Victorian inquiry into the state's taxi industry, for example, heard estimates that taxi drivers were 15 times more likely to be assaulted than ordinary workers. The taxi inquiry's final findings showed protective measures such as cameras and protective screens gave mixed results meaning finding the right insurance to protect assets, income and health is particularly vital for taxi drivers. Tradies and cleaners who enter houses for work and need to protect equipment from theft, or truck drivers who spend most their time on the road also face similar unique risks. In each case it is vitalyour identify the risks your business faces and to take steps to protect yourself accordingly.

Fighting Crime an Ongoing Battle

Police emphasise that it is vital not to get complacent when it comes to combating crime both for them and the community. While crime across Canberra has dropped from 60,753 incidents in 2009 to 49,790 in 2012, the number of incidents reported in the district of Belconnen has remained constant at more than 11,000 incidents. This means it is particularly crucial for locals to engage with police on crime prevention to protect themselves and their community. Combating crime can be as easy as recording the numberplate of suspicious vehicles, remembering to lock home or business doors, and installing visible security systems. Crime Stoppers remains a key tool connecting the community and Australian police that can include monetary rewards to callers, who remain anonymous. The ACT Region Crime Stoppers alone has helped police arrest more than 800 people, lay more than 2000 charges and recover more than $1 million in stolen property since 1996. With the Australian Institution of Criminology estimating crime is now costing Australia almost $36 billion annually, protecting yourself remains pivotal. However, by taking some simple precautions and getting the right insurance it is easy to make sure you are not left counting the cost.

Julie Holland.

 

Paul Nelson

 

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Belconnen’s underbelly

Crime and policing are often discussed, usually in the context of it being rampant and increasing. How does Belconnen fare? The Australian Federal Police publish statistics on crime on a monthly basis on their web site http://www.police.act.gov.au/community-safety.aspx


The table below looks at crime data by offence (homicide is not included as according to police statisticians the numbers are too small) for areas of Belconnen. The figures are only for one month (May) and could be different if another month were analysed.

Crime in Belconnen May 2010

Type of crime

Zone 1

(Charnwood,

Dunlop, Flynn, Fraser)

Zone 2

(Giralang, Kaleen, Lawson, McKellar)

Zone 3

(Hawker, Page, Scullin, Weetangera)

Zone 4

(Higgins, Holt, Latham, McGregor)

Zone 5

(Aranda, Bruce, Cook, Macquarie)

Zone 6

(Belconnen Town Centre)

 

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

Assault

4

0.3

5

0.4

1

0.1

4

0.3

8

0.6

8

2.2

Sexual

0

0.0

0

0.0

1

0.1

1

0.1

0

0.0

3

0.8

Robbery

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

1

0.3

Burglary

8

0.5

10

0.7

10

0.9

8

0.5

13

1.0

12

3.4

Motor vehicle theft

2

0.1

1

0.1

1

0.1

4

0.3

3

0.2

5

3.4

Other theft

14

0.9

27

1.9

15

1.3

20

1.3

38

2.9

66

18.5

Property damage

13

0.8

13

0.9

10

0.9

21

1.3

14

1.1

34

9.6

Total

41

2.6

56

3.9

38

3.3

58

3.7

76

5.8

129

36.2


Belconnen Town Centre would appear to be the most crime afflicted, but it is a town centre with places of entertainment and commercial activity. Of the residential suburbs Zone 5 (South east Belconnen) seems to have the worst record, especially in terms of burglary and theft.


How does Belconnen compare with other parts of the ACT, Australia and the world?


Statistics on crime are difficult and there appears to be limited data for Australia that can be compared to these. However, the table below looks at other parts of the ACT.


Crime in other parts of the ACT May 2010

Type of crime

Palmerston

Civic

Weston Creek

Inner South

(Barton. Deakin, Forrest, Griffith, Yarralumla)

Kambah

Lyneham and O’Connor

 

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

No.

Per 000

Assault

0

0.0

23

18.5

7

0.4

7

0.4

9

0.6

8

0.8

Sexual

0

0.0

1

0.8

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

Robbery

0

0.0

2

1.6

0

0.0

0

0.0

2

0.1

0

0.0

Burglary

5

0.8

1

0.8

20

1.0

17

1.1

9

0.6

20

1.9

Motor vehicle theft

0

0.0

4

3.2

4

0.2

12

0.8

3

0.2

1

0.1

Other theft

5

0.8

47

37.8

31

1.6

122

7.8

46

2.9

26

2.5

Property damage

1

0.2

18

14.5

24

1.2

57

3.6

18

1.1

19

1.8

Total

11

1.8

96

77.2

86

4.3

215

13.7

87

5.5

74

7.2


Firstly, Belconnen Town Centre does better than Civic, which has a crime over double that of Belconnen Town centre. Only Palmerston in Gungahlin has a better record than all areas in Belconnen.


Again these statistics only cover one month. A better perspective would be to look at a year.

 

In terms of national comparisons ABS publication 4519.0: Recorded Crime - Offenders 2008-09

The ABS states:

“For the 2008-09 reference period, New South Wales accounted for 30% (103,853) of the Australian offender population aged 10 years and over, followed by Queensland (24% or 83,806) and Victoria (16% or 53,605). The Australian Capital Territory recorded the lowest number of offenders (1% or 3,337) and was the only jurisdiction to record a decrease (1%) in the total number of offenders from 2007-08.

The Northern Territory had the highest offender rate in 2008-09 with 4,832 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over, and recorded the largest increase in the offender rate from 2007-08 (an increase of 540 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over). The lowest offender rate was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory with a rate of 1,096 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over.”
 

This measures offenders whereas the local data above measures offences.

So do we need to worry about crime? Well that other statement is quite apt “be alert, not alarmed”.

Terry Giesecke

Canberra Media Research

 

 


 

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