Community safety & crime prevention

There are a range of community safety strategies that can be implemented to contribute to the reduction of volatile substance use (VSU)-related harm. One of these is the use of routine patrolling; both generalised and targeted patrolling, depending on the location. This routine patrolling serves to:

  • disperse users who might otherwise become involved in incidents
  • enable police to pick up minors and take them home or to a safe place to prevent crime and preserve the safety of the minors
  • enhance the safety and perceptions of safety for the community
  • prevent vandalism of community and private property and other crime.

(Gray et al. 2006 cited in Nicholas, 2007)

Crucial to such a strategy is the building of positive relationships with both users and the community. Having a strong understanding of VSU and related issues, as well as effective ways of working with young people and/or Aboriginal people (in Aboriginal communities), can promote good relationships and resultant behaviours. For this reason, training and education for police about VSU is important.

For information about VSU training opportunities, contact the Volatile Substances Program at the Mental Health Commission.