Not an accredited safe community?

Benefits of Being a Safe Community

A safe community is a real community

An accredited safe community benefits from more than just injury prevention, community safety management systems and crime prevention, they see:

  1. A reduction in the numbers and cost of injuries and violence
  2. A promotion of health and safety in their community
  3. A sense of community pride
  4. People and families to move to their community
  5. A demonstration that they can make difference at a local level
  6. A change perceptions
  7. An improvement in the quality of life for themselves and their community
  8. Lives saved
  9. A decrease in duplication across government departments of all levels and the community
  10. A systematic approach and proven model to allow for gaps and emerging issues to be identified.

Perceptions of community safety, whether they are real or perceived, impact on the way people feel and interact in their community. Community safety is not just about injury prevention and crime prevention; it is about building strong, cohesive, vibrant, participatory communities.

Community-based safety promotion has been nationally and internationally proven as an effective intervention to both promote safety and reduce the injury burden. This is achieved by significant community development and coalition engagement and programmes such as falls prevention, road safety, safety at work, safer public places, water safety and outdoor/sports safety.

For individuals and families

Individuals and families enjoy a sustained quality of life, ongoing participation in work, leisure and educational activities, and preservation of income and assets.

For organisations

The benefits of safety at work and awareness of injury prevention include reduced disruption to operations, increased productivity, retention of valued staff and reduced levies.

For the wider community

The wider community has a lot to gain from having a safer, positive and more productive population, and from less demand being placed on the health care and justice systems due to injury.

Go Team Safe!

A Safe Community brings the whole community together: people from all walks of life, all levels of government and businesses of all sizes, making for an efficient Safe Community that meets the needs of everyone.

  • Local Government
  • Central Government
  • Police
  • Fire Service
  • Non-government community groups
  • Public Health (including Maori and Pacific public health providers)
  • lwi
  • Medical and Healthcare Providers (including Maori and Pacific health care providers)
  • Pacific and new immigrant groups and agencies
  • Business and Service Organisations
  • Schools

Why do we want Safe Communities?

Preventable and predictable accidents and injuries in New Zealand currently result in:

  • 1700 deaths
  • 50,000 hospitalisations
  • 250,000 emergency department visits
  • 1.7 million claims to ACC each year.

This all adds up. Not only is there a huge emotional strain on families and friends of the affected, it places undue stress on our health system and also costs the community $60 billion dollars in terms of caring for the injured and in economic loss for New Zealand.

Read our discussion document on the benefits and costs of Safe Community co-ordination.

Please contact us (contact@scfnz.org) for a copy of our Safe Community accreditation guidelines.

Safe Communities work – here’s proof!

1. Waitakere now Auckland West was the first New Zealand Safe Community

Accredited 1999, reaccredited 2006 & 2013.

Examples from Auckland West's 2013 reaccreditation demonstrating the effectiveness of safety initiatives include:

  • Increased awareness of fire safety – smoke alarms, fire escape plans & reduction in the incidence/severity of burns & scalds within the home environment.
  • Decrease in 2011 in fatal speed injuries- overall 17%, older road user by 31%, young driver by 16%.
  • Improvements in strength & balance in the 65+ age group as a result of the older adults falls prevention initiatives.
  • Increased awareness of the need to report family violence as a result of the initiatives implemented by the family violence working group.
  • Increase over last 3 years in vitamin D prescriptions (from 15 to 85%), a proven strategy for older persons' falls.
  • Increased awareness of suicide prevention services & care.
  • Decrease of 33% in the number of alcohol/drug-related driving offences in 2011.
  • Increase in water safety knowledge attitudes & behaviours – 74% of rock fishers identified improvements in safety knowledge.

2. Waimakariri

Accredited 1999, reaccredited 2006 & 2013.

For the 3 years following accreditation, Waimakariri had the lowest injury fatality rate among all 74 territorial authorities throughout NZ. Examples demonstrating the effectiveness of safety initiatives include:

  • Downward trend in rates of fatal and serious injury road crashes.
  • Increased awareness of disaster management and post-earthquake healing process as a result of the ‘Telling our Stories’ project.
  • Improvements in strength and balance in the 65+ age group as a result of the older adults falls prevention initiatives. ACC and Injury Prevention Research Unit (IPRU) figures indicate a downward trend in falls between 1996 when the programme began and 2009.
  • Improvements in rural safety among children as a result of the ‘Down the Back Paddock’ project. Evaluations show that 60% of children had made changes to their behaviors in at least one of the areas covered.
  • Enhanced awareness and self-reported behavioral change as a result of the DIY Ladder Falls campaign.
  • Increased awareness of the need to report family violence as a result of the target initiatives including the `Recognise, Respond and Refer' programme.
  • 95% of Rangiora households have smoke alarms fitted as a result of the smoke alarm campaign.

3. New Plymouth

Accredited 2005, reaccredited 2010. Examples demonstrating the effectiveness of safety initiatives during 2005-2009 include:

  • rates of public hospitalisations for falls in adults aged >60 years were consistently below the national average. Rates of ACC new entitlement claims for fall-related injuries in this age group also declined steadily - from 31% higher than the national average to a rate comparable with the national average.
  • ACC new entitlement claim age-standardised rates for workplace injuries also tracked below the national average.
  • Since 2002, the rate of hospital admissions for falls in children aged < 5 years halved - from a rate 34% higher than the national average to a rate 33% lower than the national average in 2008.
  • Overall, a 6% drop in recorded offences during 2008 to 2009, when the national rate rose by 4.6%.
  • NRB Communitrak Survey findings over the last three years have shown that the percentage of respondents who consider the New Plymouth CBD at night to be ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ has increased each year.