Community forum hears true story of Logan crime decline

Crime in Logan is declining and has been for the last decade, a community forum hosted at Griffith University has heard.

More than 120 guests, including many representatives of Logan’s small business community attended the ‘Crime Prevention in Logan’ forum on Wednesday evening at Griffith University’s Logan campus to hear from experts on crime, policing and local business.

Hosted by the Griffith University Friends of the Library network and their co-sponsors the Logan Community Bank the event brought together a panel of leading experts including: Associate Professor Janet Ransley, (Head of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice), Dr Hennessey Hayes (Senior Lecturer, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice), Senior Sergeant Mike Pearson of the Logan Police and Mark Lally, Regional Manager of the Bendigo Bank.

Associate Professor Ransley, said dispelling existing misconceptions was best done by observing what the current trends in criminal activity looked like and targeting notable ‘hot spots’ and the reasons they developed.

“The overall message is that things are improving, crime is declining and has been for the past 10 years, but there are areas for concern,” Associate Professor Ransley said.

“For instance, if we look at property crimes by location we can see that crimes were once more likely to be committed against houses, but that has changed,” she said.

“Now what we are seeing both locally and across Australia, is more crime being committed against businesses. And that is a major shift.”

Senior Sergeant Pearson was adamant that Logan was a ‘safe city’ to live and do business in.

“We are the most culturally diverse city in Australia, I believe, with 215 ethnicities, 190 plus cultures and between 52 and 57 nationalities,” Senior Sergeant Pearson said.

“We also have higher than the state average unemployment and 10 per cent of the state’s housing stocks. So there are areas with entrenched social and economic stress.

“But there are positives. We have an exceptional community spirit, a dedicated council, a well-staffed and engaged police service; we have a vibrant and supportive business chambers and numerous effective partnerships across the three tiers of government.”

“Do we have crime? Do we have a drug problem? Do we have social disorder? Yes we do. Just like any community. We have these problems. What we can do to combat crime is make it more difficult to commit.”

Dr Hayes shared case studies on alternative methods known as restorative justice, that are being utilised with some success in the youth justice system to prevent re-offending.

Mr Lally discussed the broader issue of identity fraud, which affects thousands of Australians every year.

Professor Lesley Chenoweth, Head of Campus at Logan, welcomed all of the guests earlier in the evening and handed over the event to Pro Vice Chancellor (Information Services) Linda O’Brien, representing the Friends of the Library network, who introduced the panel of experts.