John Kobelke

John Kobelke

Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water Resources; Sport and Recreation

    Government moves to 'Design out Crime'.

    28/10/2007 10:55 AM

    The State Government has unveiled the latest strategy to combat crime in residential areas through the use of smart urban design principles.

    Community Safety Minister John Kobelke today released the ‘Designing out Crime: Designing in People’ strategy at the Woodbridge Lakes residential precinct in Midland, describing the design of this community as a role model for others to follow.

    The strategy would be incorporated in all appropriate Statements of Planning Policy as applied by the Western Australian Planning Commission, and would influence the development of regional, district and local structure plans throughout the State.

    “In developing the new Woodbridge Lakes subdivision, the Midland Redevelopment Authority has applied many of the internationally endorsed principles behind Designing out Crime,” Mr Kobelke said.

    Designing out Crime establishes a set of principles for fencing, lighting, the layout of buildings and public spaces, ease of access and passive surveillance. When combined, the aspects encouraged the diverse use of space and removed danger spots.

    The Minister said there was substantial evidence to show that Designing out Crime principles were effective in reducing the incidence of criminal offences.

    “Numerous studies have confirmed the effectiveness of various components of Designing out Crime in reducing recorded crime and the fear of crime,” he said.

    The Office of Crime Prevention’s Designing out Crime unit has already undertaken extensive training with local government, State Government agencies and industry, in addition to the co-production of guidelines with the WA Local Government Association.

    Mr Kobelke said the release of the strategy formalised the introduction of Designing out Crime as a mandated State Government policy and its implementation over coming months would include a number of initiatives including:
    • funding grants of $260,000 to local government authorities for Designing out Crime projects;
    • implementation of the Premier’s Interagency Working Group on Public Access Ways;
    • further training and consultancy to local governments;
    • implementation of the Graffiti Vandalism Reduction Strategy;
    • working partnerships with the Aboriginal Land Trust, the Department of Indigenous Affairs and the Western Australia Planning Commission in order to conduct culturally specific audits, develop plans and implement Designing Out Crime actions;
    • support for the Premier’s Physical Activity Task Force to encourage increased use of facilities, parks and pedestrian and cycle routes;
    • working partnerships with the Design Institute of Australia and others to ensure the crime potential was considered in the design of products; and
    • development of standards and operational guidelines for the use of CCTV in the community.
    “Designing out Crime, like all crime prevention approaches, will only succeed with the community’s help,” the Minister said.

    “It is in everyone’s interest to understand and support the principles because Designing out Crime can even increase property values in a neighbourhood.”

    Mr Kobelke called on local government and the design and construction sector to engage with the Designing out Crime initiative, not only for community safety, but also for economic reasons.

    “The cost of incorporating the strategy’s features at the construction stage is considerably less than the cost of burglary to the victim,” he said.

    The Designing out Crime strategy can be downloaded from

    Minister's office - 9222 9211