Assessment Task 2: Report

You have just been appointed a community safety officer at the Chelsea River Town Council, an administrative
body that takes care of the needs of 200,000 people living within a partly rural and partly urban region of North
Queensland, Australia. On your first day of work, you were tasked to investigate and ultimately address the crime
and social order problems suffered by residents living in a suburb of Chelsea River called Midway Bank. The next
day, you decide to drive down to Midway Bank in order to get a better feel of the area. Once there, you
immediately notice that the urban suburb seems to be generally divided into three distinct residential segments, a
Council Flat Estate and an older Private Housing Area, both of which are separated by a fairly large Public Park, as
well as a gated community in the form of an up-market Condominium development. As such, the sociodemographical
characteristics of the suburb are also quite diverse in that:
the Council Flat Estate housed mainly young families and single mothers who fell within the lower-socio
economic bracket;
the residents of the Condominium tended to be young up-and-coming executive type of people; and
those who lived in the Private Housing Area were generally older middle income families or retirees.
This suburb also has a small Shopping Precinct and an all-boys State High School in the vicinity (Figure 1 below).
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Walking through the Council Flat Estate, you notice a number of things. For example, there are a number of young
children playing in the car park unsupervised, some of the external and internal walls had graffiti on them, and that
there is a group of teenagers squatting in the corner of the estate smoking and drinking under the shade of some of
the trees planted at the side of tenement. The apartment structures are themselves looking somewhat shabby, in
need of a few coats of paint and some new windows at the side of the building. The all-boys State High School
looks relatively run-down and you see some of the students hanging around the main gate as well as across the
street where the Shopping Precinct is located. Some of the older male students appear to be having a fight just in
front of the hair salon, frightening some of the elderly ladies getting their hair washed and make-up done up. Both
the 7-11 outlet and the Blockbusters store have bars on their windows and doors, while the hair salon has a thin
security screen over theirs. The Pizza Hut Restaurant appears to have a security guard at their entrance as does
the pharmacy next door.
The next day, you decide to go back in the evening. The street lights along some stretches of the road on both the
side of the Council Flat Estate as well as that of the Private Housing Area across the Public Park seem to be out of
commission. You walk over to the Private Housing Area and discover that some of the street lights have been
broken while others are obstructed by the branches and leaves of some trees planted along the street. You
suddenly hear shouting in the park, and looking over, you see some drunken teenagers and young adult men
sitting or standing at the edges taunting you.
You quickly walk away. Some of the houses in front of the Public Park have open yards with no fences or gates.
Others have thick hedges just in front of their house. Only a few have high fences and a good-sized gate. Those
that do, however tend to have graffiti on them, although from the looks of it, they seem to have been washed or
painted over on a number of occasions. It is hard to say because the street is not really well lit. Most of the houses
there do not have their porch light on, and appear to be either uninhabited or that those residing there do not want
you to know that they are at home. Suddenly, you catch sight in the corner of your eye some movement in the
windows of one of the houses. You turn to look but the elderly face that peeped from the window immediately darts
back into the darkness. You get a feeling that the residents on this side of the park tend to keep to themselves.
As you walk towards the Condominium, you are immediately taken aback by how high the walls of this estate are.
It appears well lit because of spot lights located at strategic positions on the top of the walls, and there is even a
burly-looking security guard at the main gate, looking at you suspiciously. Perhaps you should have worn a coat
and tie. You see from across the street, another security guard chasing away a group of children who were
loitering in front of the Pizza Hut Restaurant in the Shopping Precinct, only for this group to retaliate by shouting
obscenities and spitting at him.
You think you have seen enough, and you head back to your car at the public parking area in the Council Flat
estate only to find that the front window has been broken into, and your brand new car stereo with the enhanced
CD woofer system is now missing. You see some teenagers next to your car, and as you approach them, they run
off in all directions. You wonder if your insurance company will cover your loss. It has been a long night.
You go back to the office the next morning, disappointed but not defeated. Your supervisor asks you how it went,
and what do you propose to do about it. Having previously studied criminology and crime prevention at James
Cook University, you express to her your confidence about being able to set things right in that suburb. Your
supervisor is pleased with your enthusiasm and asks you to write a report that is no more than 3000 words (+/-
10%) on how you would go about accomplishing this.
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You immediately commission a victimisation survey for Midway Bank, a similar but much less comprehensive
version of those conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) e.g. the Crime Victimisation Survey and the
Crime and Safety Survey. For more information regarding such instruments, please visit these websites:
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4530.0
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DOSSbyTopic/45C05B3F0738C631CA256BD000287708?OpenDoc
ument.
You also write to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to see if they can provide you with the specific crime
statistics for the area. This would include data that may also be found here:
QPS: Annual Statistical Review:
https://www.police.qld.gov.au/corporatedocs/reportsPublications/statisticalReview/default.htm
QPS: Reported Crime Trend Data:
https://www.police.qld.gov.au/online/data/default.htm
QPS: Online Crime Map:
https://data.police.qld.gov.au/CrimeStatsMobile/#/map
3 months later, you have now been furnished with lots of statistics and information, among which include the
following:
A. From the QPS:
During the relevant period, there were:
55 cases of Other Theft (excl. Unlawful Entry) primarily committed in the Shopping Precinct, Public Park
and the Council Flat Estate (17 solved)
33 cases of Drug Offence primarily committed in the Public Park and Council Flat Estate (25 solved)
45 case of Other Property Damage primarily committed in the Private Housing Area and Council Flat
Estate (5 solved)
25 cases of Assault (8 solved) primarily in the Shopping Precinct, Public Park and Council Flat Estate
18 cases of Unlawful Entry (5 solved) primarily in the Private Housing Area and Council Flat Estate
40 case of Good Order Offence (8 solved) primarily in the Shopping Precinct and Public Park
8 cases of Traffic and Related Offences (6 solved)
10 cases Unlawful Use of Motor Vehicle (3 solved)
12 cases of Robbery (1 solved) primarily in the Public Park and Shopping Precinct
B. From the victimisation survey (75% response rate):
You note that victimisation survey results for the relevant period indicate a higher level of victimisation than that
reflected in the official crime statistics provided to you by the QPS. Given your expertise in criminology, you know
that this could well be because of the dark figure of crime. Mindful of this, you continue to peruse the survey
findings in relation to fear of crime, and discover that:
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Approximately 50% of the residents felt safe or very safe when at home alone during the day, and 20% felt
this way when at home alone after dark. The proportion of people feeling unsafe or very unsafe at home
alone during the day and night was highest in the Council Flat Estate and the Private Housing Area.
27% of the residents felt safe or very safe walking alone in the Public Park after dark, whereas 60.1% felt
unsafe or very unsafe.
40% of the residents felt safe or very safe walking alone in the Public Park during the day, whereas 30.1%
felt unsafe or very unsafe.
34% of the residents felt safe or very safe walking alone in the Shopping Precinct after dark, whereas 51%
felt unsafe or very unsafe.
51% of the residents felt safe or very safe walking alone in the Shopping Precinct during the day, whereas
39% felt unsafe or very unsafe.
A further 35% of the residents indicated that they never walked alone after dark in the Public Park or the
Shopping Precinct due to safety concerns.
The proportion of residents feeling unsafe or very unsafe walking alone during the day and night in the
Public Park and Shopping Precinct was highest in the Private Housing Area.
75% of the residents perceived that their neighbourhood had specific problems from crime or public
nuisance. Commonly perceived problems included dangerous or noisy behaviour in public, including public
intoxication (65%); vandalism, graffiti or damage to property (63%); theft of, and from, vehicles (60%);
robbery (40%); and housebreakings, burglaries or theft from homes (48%).
15% of the residents perceived no specific problems in their neighbourhood, and this perception was
highest among the Condominium dwellers.
22% of the employees working in the Shopping Precinct felt safe or very safe during the day, whereas 59%
felt unsafe or very unsafe.
10% of the employees working in the Shopping Precinct felt safe or very safe at night, whereas 70% felt
unsafe or very unsafe.
30% of the residents felt safe or very safe shopping alone in the Shopping Precinct after dark, whereas
60% felt unsafe or very unsafe.
48% of the residents felt safe or very safe shopping alone in the Shopping Precinct during the day,
whereas 42% felt unsafe or very unsafe.
Armed with the relevant data and information, you get down to the hard work of making sense of everything
through deep analysis. You begin by employing the SARA problem-oriented approach to the facts at hand
(based on your initial observations and the demographical, crime, as well as fear of crime statistical data).
Given that you have been taught how to draft reports at JCU, you decide that your report must have the following:
(1) Title page
(2) Contents page
(3) Executive summary (this should be around two pages and represent summaries of the main sections of
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your report)
(4) Introduction
(5) Outline what are your objectives or what do you hope to achieve through your recommendations (for
example, (1) reducing crimes and/or anti-social behaviour; (2) improving the communitys sense of wellbeing;
(3) reducing levels of fear of crime; (4) encouraging community civic involvement; etc
(6) Factually summarise the problem/s (Scanning Stage). This is going to be very important because you will
need to identify all those criminogenic aspects or factors that you will be specifically analysing in the next
section of your report i.e. the analysis stage.
(7) Explain why these problems are occurring (Analysis Stage) i.e. what are the promixal (situational) as well
as distal (social) causes of the criminal and/or anti-social behaviour; or the reasons for the fear of crime or
loss of business etc. To do this, you will have to initially identify and thereafter outline the relevant crime
prevention theories that you think are going to be applicable to the facts-at-hand before then analysing
those factors that you highlighted in the scanning stage with those selected theoretical frameworks (you
should initially start with Ecks modified crime triangle (from Routine Activity Theory), and then go from
there to outline whichever social and/or environmental crime prevention theory that you will be using).
(8) List and explain what are your tentative recommendations (Response Stage) i.e. what social and/or
environmental crime prevention initiatives (three to four will be sufficient at this stage) will you be
implementing; and at which levels i.e. primary, secondary and/or tertiary. Please note that your
recommendations must flow from your analysis. So if you used social crime prevention theories (e.g.
developmental criminology, social disorganisation theory etc.), then your solutions will have to be social
crime prevention measures. The same goes for environmental crime prevention theories (e.g. rational
choice perspective, routine activity theory, crime pattern theory and/or the defensible space concept) then
your solutions will take the form of CPTED measures and/or situational crime prevention techniques i.e.
increasing the effort to commit the crime, increasing the risk of apprehension etc.)
(9) Which evaluation system i.e. outcome and/or process (Assessment Stage) (brief details of your selected
evaluation system must be included e.g. outcome, process etc.) have you built into your project; and why
(remember that your assessment mechanisms must flow from the type of objectives you wanted to achieve
through your recommendations);
(10) What sort of crime displacement and/or diffusion of benefits do you anticipate with the implementation of
such recommendations (include in your analysis how you would identify both, as well as prevent the
former, but encourage the latter)
(11) Which agencies should be partnered up with the community and the Chelsea River Town Council in order
to implement these tentative recommendations; and why;
(12) What problems, if any, do you anticipate with such partnerships;
(13) Conclusion
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(14) References List
Some important issues regarding the structure of your report are presented in the succeeding pages of this
subjects outline.
Assessment of this report is worth 30 percent of your final grade for the subject. This report should be no more
than 3000 (+/- 10%) excluding your title page, contents page and references list.
Reports longer or shorter than this 10% buffer will be penalised. In any event, please take note that the
examiner will STOP reading the portions of your essay that exceed the 3500 word mark.
Please take note that the use of excessive or excessively long quotations will be penalised. Try your best to either
paraphrase or extract the essence of what the author is trying to say.
Assignments should be submitted in 12 or 14 point font size, with 2cm margins, 1.5 or 2 line spacing, and page
numbers in the Assignment Cover Sheet provided to you on your LearnJCU website. Please ensure that you state
the number of words written in the Assignment Cover Sheet.
Please draft the report in third person rather than in first.
Your report must also adhere to the APA referencing system (quotations within the report count towards the word
limit). This assignment must be submitted as a softcopy in a Word Document (and not in PDF) via Safe Assignment on LearnJCU. There is no need to submit a hardcopy of the same.