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Council pilots carpark safety project

Media Release


December 11, 2008

Council pilots carpark safety project

Looking at ways to reduce vehicle crime and the fear of crime in parking facilities is the aim of a government-funded project being piloted in Waitakere.

Waitakere City Council is one of three councils selected by the Ministry of Justice’s Crime Prevention Unit to run the Carpark + Safer Parking project pilot. The others are Auckland City and Hutt City.

The initiative is part of the CPU’s Vehicle Crime Reduction Programme and encourages parking facilities to meet specific safety criteria guided by the principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). Facilities that meet the CARPARK+ standards will be recognised as ‘safer parking’ facilities, indicating that they have measures in place to reduce levels of crime and fear of crime.

Trained assessors will look at a wide variety of criteria, including whether the carpark has good security and surveillance provisions, lighting and directional signage and whether its design makes it easy for cars and pedestrians to move around safely.

The council’s Safe Waitakere division has selected local park and ride facilities at Sturges and Sunnyvale rail stations and the multi-storey Trading Place carpark in Henderson to be assessed as part of the pilot.

“Our two park and ride facilities were specifically designed using CPTED principles so it will be good to re-assess them to see if they are working as well as expected or whether any environmental changes could potentially raise some safety issues for us,” says Safe Waitakere’s crime prevention project leader Michael Alofa.

“We also want to see what specific issues there may be with the multi-level building.”

Waitakere’s parking facility assessments are due to begin in the new year.

Waitakere Deputy Mayor, Penny Hulse, says any project that aims to make people feel safer and reduces the risk of crimes occurring is worth participating in.

“This initiative will hopefully give operators and developers of parking facilities the incentive to maintain a safe parking environment and allow the public to make informed decisions about where they choose to park,” says Cr Hulse, who also chairs Safe Waitakere’s Crime Prevention Reference Group.

The trial runs through until October next year and complements a range of safety projects being undertaken in Waitakere.

One such project is Operation Speedo – multi-agency approach to reducing car thefts and break-ins at popular Waitakere recreation spots over the holiday season and providing advice and reassurance to visitors.


ENDS

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