‘Fear city’ tag challenged

A hidden local bar in Northbridge. Photo: Maxwell Goldie

According to 2019 data from the Western Australian Police, Northbridge has the third highest rate of criminal activity of any suburb in the state.

UWA Criminology Associate Professor Joe Clare says crime statistics are hard to analyse as the total number of offences is skewed due to the amount of people who converge on the popular bars and clubs from across Perth.

Interview with Criminology Assoc Professor Joe Clare. Photo: Supplied.

Police data shows there has been an increase in criminal activity across Northbridge, but also in other suburbs such as Fremantle.

Pizza bar in Northbridge. Photo: Maxwell Goldie.

Associate Professor Clare says geospatial mapping of crime can be used to identify where and when more crime is likely to be committed, and police can then attempt to reinforce the area.

“For the most part, Northbridge is quiet during the weekdays, and would therefore experience lower amounts of crime during that time.” he says.

Groups such as ‘Street Chaplains‘ seek to promote safety in Northbridge by escorting people around the area and discussing tips and tricks for avoiding trouble.

Curtin University relationship mentor Stephanie Jewell took multiple groups of international students around Perth in accordance with ‘Constable Care’s ‘City after Dark’ program.

She says the program gives students the opportunity to learn about how to stay safe, with information such as how to get taxis by ordering an ‘angel shot’, preferencing offical taxis over Uber, and owning a personal safety alarm or pepper spray, as she explains below.

Stephanie Jewell, relationship mentor Interview. Video: Maxwell Goldie.

City tour guide Tom Robinson says trouble is far more rare than people think, as he’s been giving night tours, focusing on pubs and restaurants, for over two years without experiencing any trouble.

“I get a wide range of people on my tours, some from overseas, some local, who will tell me ‘I heard the news, we better not go there’, when I walk through there daily, and it’s fine,” Mr Robinson says.

He says as long as you are vigilant and prepared, you’ll be alright.

Tom Robinson, tour guide. Video: Maxwell Goldie.

Categories: Crime, Culture, General

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