The accreditation will be announced in a signing ceremony today between the accrediting centre, Safe Communities Foundation NZ (SCFNZ), and Palmerston North. Mayor Grant Smith, members of the Council and Safety Advisory Board and representatives from partner organisations will attend the event.
The World Health Organization views the Safe Communities approach as an important means of delivering evidence-based violence and injury prevention strategies at the local level.
Debbie Duncan, General Manager – Community, credits the reaccreditation as a true community effort.
“We are honoured to again earn the recognition of being a Safe Community in New Zealand. This is more than just a title; it shows our dedication to making Palmerston North a safer place to live, work, study and visit.
“This reaccreditation is a result of collaborative work. Immense credit is due to everyone involved in promoting safety and reducing crime and injury in Palmerston North.”
Since it was first accredited in March 2014, Palmerston North has made great strides in making the city safer. The Palmerston North Safe Community programme is focused on six key priorities: collaboration, road safety, injury prevention, crime prevention, alcohol and other drug harm reduction, and resilience. It includes a wide range of initiatives such as:
- Māngai Atawhai and Safe City Angels monitoring the Central Business District
- a cycle skills programme and Junior Road Safety Park to promote safe cycling
- falls and injury sessions and strength and balance classes for senior citizens
- installation of a network of safety cameras and LED lights
- several connection events such as the community-led Raleigh Street Reserve revitalisation which included upgrade to community facilities and a traffic-calming road mural
- and Placemaking initiatives to make public spaces safer and more vibrant.
These collectively sealed the deal for Palmy to be recertified as a Safe Community under SCFNZ’s criteria and assessment.
Council is the lead agency for the Safe Community through the efforts of the Safety Advisory Board. Other members are: Rangitāne o Manawatū, New Zealand Police, Palmerston North SafeCity Trust, MidCentral District Health Board, Department of Corrections, ACC, Ministry of Social Development, Massey University, NZ Defence Force, Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children.