Community based assessment projects completed as part of the subject 76012 Criminology:
Mangrove Vandalism in Canada Bay (2012)
This project was commissioned by Canada Bay to seek effective solutions in the increasing incidence of mangrove vandalism within the local government area. The report detailed the relevant legislative framework and highlighted the importance of mangroves in reducing soil erosion and providing a habitat for many local fish species. The students recommendations were informed by criminological theories and included immediate restoration of sites of vandalism, encouraging local residents to report mangrove vandalism, removing benefits from illegal mangrove removal and increasing penalties, and education campaigns to overcome the perception of mangroves as ugly and dirty. The report noted that there is a myriad of legislation in this area that needs to be reformed giving clear powers to local councils. In addition, local councils need more funding in order to effectively fight illegal mangrove destruction.
Security Issues at Entry and Exit Points to Licensed Venues (2012)
This project was undertaken at the request of the UTS Designing Out Crime Research Centre. The aim of the project was to investigate and identify security issues that arise at the entry and exit points of licensed venues. The report was informed by situational crime prevention theory – and aimed to inform an understanding the physical environment has upon opportunistic and alcohol related crime at licensed venues. The report outlined the relevant legislative framework, reviewed the secondary literature on licensed venues and the use of security guards. The students also conducted informal observational research at selected venues in Sydney. The project has been submitted to Designing Out Crime.
Bike Theft (2010)
This project analysed bike theft statistics within NSW and nationally and internationally. The researchers found that bikes are more likely to be stolen from home, and considered crime prevention approaches to reduce the likelihood of theft. Ultimately this project found that there is a dearth of research in this area.
Fear of crime, crime and crime prevention in Mt Druitt (2010)
This project undertook a close criminological analysis of a specific housing estate in Mt Druitt to consider crime, fear of crime and crime prevention. The project was in depth and considered the physical geography and structure of the housing estate itself and surrounding area. The project also considered issues of crime from the perspectives of ethnicity, class and gender. The researchers pointed to short term crime prevention techniques that could reduce crime, but also asserted that any successful intervention required long term structural changes.
Illegal dumping (2010)
This project considered the problem of illegal dumping in a specific location and applied ideas of crime prevention. The researchers argued that there were advantages in regarding and regulating illegal dumping as criminal, particularly that this would mean that it was more likely that the community would respond to the problem more seriously and it would discourage opportunistic dumpers. The project analysed the costs of illegal dumping to the community and crime prevention approaches that could be adopted to reduce the problem.
Crofts, P., Morris, T., Wells, K. & Powell, A.2010, 'Illegal dumping and crime prevention: A case study of Ash Road, Liverpool Council', Public Space: The Journal of Law and Social Justice, vol. 5, pp. 1-23.
Crime Prevention Workshops for At Risk Youth and Social Workers (2010)
This project was generated by a student, Amani Haydar. Amani created workshops for at risk youth and social workers aimed at assisting young people to make active and informed choices. This included providing different theories about why particular young people may be at risk of committing crimes, and also explaining laws that could criminalise young people, such as accessory-ship. As a result, Amani received a commendation for Elizabeth Hastings Memorial Award for Student Community Contribution.
Simplifying sentencing (2010)
This project involved students explaining the principles of sentencing in accessible ways for clients.
Graffiti and Crime Prevention (2009)
This project considered the presence of graffiti in the new Parramatta Children’s Court. The project examined the nature of graffiti, the current prevention strategies in place at the Court and their inherent failures and also the costs associated in terms of the rights of young people.
Council Workers and Law Enforcement (2009)
This project considered a recent report highlighting the incidence of violence against council workers, particularly when enforcing parking fines and alcohol free zones. The paper noted the increasing tendency to expand traditional policing powers beyond the police. Areas of concern are the widening of traditional police powers, the misuse of council workers’ discretion, insufficient training and ongoing development and review for the workers, the negative and uninformed public perception of the public derived from ill-informed media portrayals and the abuse of council workers whilst performing their duties. The paper argued that these issues must be addressed to ensure the Government supplies a safe working environment, and upholds its obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (NSW).
As a response to these concerns, recent changes have been made to Legislation to offer council workers’ the same protection as police officers.
The purpose of this paper is to increase the community’s understanding of the issues involving the increased power of council workers, to discuss the Legislative attempt to resolve them and to suggest other possible solutions to resolve the problems identified in imposing law enforcement duties on these workers.
Design of Children's Courts (2008)
This project analysed the design of children's courts in Sydney in terms of the right to a fair trial. It was argued that good design of courts can greatly assist (or in improving the participation of children in their trials, whilst poor design can undermine participation as children may be unable to be seen or heard, or see or hear.
The project results were sent to Legal Aid NSW (opens an external site).
The results were summarised and published in the refereed Alternative Law Journal (opens an external site).
Alcohol Free Zones (2008)
This project considered the use of Alcohol Free Zones (AFZs) by local councils in NSW. The project detailed the number of AFZs, the reasons why these zones were created, and whether or not these zones were effective. The project also noted there was a dearth of research in this area.
The project results were sent to Sydney City Council (opens an external site).
Bail Act reforms and the impact on young defendants (2008)
This project considered reforms to the Bail Act that allowed only one application for bail except in exceptional circumstances. The project aimed to analyse the negative impact this had young defendants, due to the increased denial of bail and thus young people on remand.
The project results were sent to Legal Aid NSW (opens an external site).