The council tonight received a report from the council administration regarding safety and amenity improvements to Harrington Square, Altona. Harrington Square has seen a number of crimes occur there in recent years, most notably the bashing that left a local shopkeeper permanently disabled.
The report was a result of a crime prevention audit by Victoria Police – unfortunately they have deemed that report confidential. That said, the council administration report outlines the main findings of the audit:
• Improvements to the car parking line marking, permits and restrictions would eliminate confusion and improve access for traders and deliveries. (It should be noted that the line marking was coincidently addressed immediately following the audit in accordance with the maintenance program).
• Car park lighting is considered to be adequate; however maintenance of specific trees within the square will further improve both natural and street lighting in specific locations. Lighting improvement options to the rear laneway should be considered.
• Various presentation aspects within Harrington Square such as removal of graffiti, improved landscaping, waste management and public seating were identified as items for improvements.
• The ongoing maintenance, daily locking and unlocking of the public toilets within Harrington Square was acknowledged and subsequently the public toilets were not identified as a concern.
The council has allocated $50,000 to improvements to Harrington Square in the 2013-14 budget and will liaise with the Harrington Square traders to establish a priority list of works. The council report indicates the priority works include graffiti removal, changes to waste management location and storage of trader’s rubbish bins, and improved lighting particularly to the rear laneway.
Other lower priority works include pruning of trees and removal of vegetation, rear car parking arrangements including defined traders parking zones, the direction of through traffic, courtyard seating, installation of the Council’s standard reserve fencing and landscaping improvements.
It is important to note that even though two serious offences have recently occurred within Harrington Square, Victoria Police claim there is no evidence to indicate that this shopping precinct is a high risk location. Traders and local residents are encouraged to contact 000 in the event of an emergency.
The incidents at Harrington Square as reported on the channel 9 news –