The Safe Gates Report reveals greater neighbourhood connection needed to foster safer communities.
The perception of safety and trust in neighbourhoods across the country appears to be on shaky grounds according to the latest figures from the Safe Gates Report, with 23% of people stating they would never let their children freely explore their own neighbourhoods.
The Safe Gates Report commissioned by D&D Technologies, the world’s most trusted gate hardware manufacturer and leading proponent of backyard pool safety, looked to define the connection between safety and community. The report highlighted that only one-third of individuals claim to know their neighbours well. Over half of the families surveyed revealed they only engage in occasional interactions with their neighbours.
This lack of regular communication was contrasted sharply by the 39% of homeowners who cited improving safety as the primary reason for fostering these relationships.
This lack of neighbour connection and familiarity could be amplifying community insecurity, with 43% of residents worried over potential burglaries. The report found that this concern was not always translating into action, with 1 in 10 homeowners admitting to never having checked the security status of their property and over 55% of respondents rated their home security as “merely average”.
Safe Gates Week Ambassador and former Rugby League player, Ben Hannant, commented on the report believing safety needed to extend beyond just the confines of your home.
“Security isn't just about gates and locks. It's deeply tied to community trust and relationships. It saddened me to know 38% of people said they would not intervene if they witnessed suspicious activity in their neighbourhood. A well-connected neighbourhood doesn't just deter potential threats but also creates an environment where everyone feels safe and looked after. I’ve got all my neighbours phone numbers and they have mine just in case something happens but only 60% of Australian have that assurance.”
While the Safe Gates Report proves the connection between security and community trust, inciting action still needs work, with the data showing only 50% of communities utilise platforms like Facebook or messenger groups to keep neighbours informed about local events or concerns.
The Report further divulged that 20% of individuals have faced a security breach at their properties, yet a staggering 62% did not feel the need to enhance their security measures even after such incidents.
Amber Rules, from Rough Patch Counselling, emphasised the importance of community relationships.
"We all yearn for that sense of belonging in our neighbourhoods," Rules said. "It's a two-way street. The more we invest in building relationships, the safer and more interconnected we become. When accidents or mishaps happen, having a reliable neighbour can be just as vital as any security system."
Rules also stressed the benefits of strengthening bonds with neighbours.
"Socialising and getting to know your neighbours isn’t just about security—it’s about community. Regular interactions create a web of trust. Not only can neighbour’s keep an eye out for each other’s property, but they can also serve as emotional and social pillars in times of need."
The findings from the Safe Gates Report provide a wake-up call for homeowners and communities at large. Strengthening security infrastructures, promoting regular checks, and fostering neighbourly bonds are all crucial steps towards creating safer, more interconnected neighbourhoods. The challenge, and opportunity, lie in bridging the trust deficit.
For further tips and resources visit safegates.com.au.
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