Safety initiatives | Brisbane City Council

Safety initiatives

Community safety is about the safety of Brisbane residents and visitors and also how safe they feel in our city's public spaces. 

Brisbane City Council works in many ways to improve our safety, from maintaining parks and streets to removing graffiti and designing public buildings to minimise crime.

Council also works in partnership with the community on social strategies, including homelessness and illicit drugs misuse, to reduce the causes and motivations for crime.

Working together for a safer Brisbane   

All levels of government play a role in ensuring the safety of our community. For ease of reference, we've outlined the major responsibilities of each tier of government:

Brisbane City Council

Council maintains and manages our public spaces and ensures new buildings and developments in the city minimise opportunity for crime. Council directly addresses issues such as graffiti vandalism and discarded sharps to help Brisbane residents stay safe and feel safe.

Queensland Government

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is responsible for crime prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution, and providing general policing services throughout the State. The QPS is committed to working in partnership with the people of Queensland to enhance the safety and security of the community, and to create a safe environment for all Queensland residents and visitors.

For more information, visit the Queensland Police website.

Federal Government

The Australian Federal Police enforces Commonwealth criminal law, and protects Commonwealth and national interests from crime in Australia and overseas.

For more information, visit the Australian Federal Police website.

Council programs for a safer Brisbane   

Council undertakes a range of activities that contribute to a safer and more liveable City.

Graffiti reduction

Council employs five graffiti removal teams to remove graffiti from Council and community property. Hundreds of other Council staff remove graffiti on a regular basis as part of their everyday roles. Council also offers free removal kits and other graffiti reduction and removal materials to the community.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

More than 1000 cameras across the city monitor road and community safety as well as Council car parks, libraries, City Hall, ferry terminals and buses.

CitySafe Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

‘CitySafe' Closed Circuit Television cameras operate in and around the Queen Street Mall, Valley Malls and City Botanic Gardens. These cameras are monitored 24 hours a day and help to deter crime in these public spaces.

Any person/s requesting access to camera footage for Queen Street Mall, Valley Malls and City Botanic Gardens can apply online by completing the CitySafe Footage Review Request Online Form.

Traffic Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Images from Brisbane City Council’s Traffic Closed Circuit Television Network (CCTV) may be available on request. The process to request this footage depends on whether the request is made by a government organisation or not.

For more information, phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263).

Safe street lighting

Council manages more than 90,000 street lights across Brisbane. Energex is responsible for installing street lights, however Council makes sure the lights are energy efficient.

Street lights keep our public areas well-lit and offer residents a genuine sense of safety. Find out about Council's recent enhanced safety lighting projects.

Blue lighting policy

In theory, blue light makes it difficult for injecting drug users to find a vein to inject into. However, Council does not install blue lights in public toilets because blue monochromatic light:

  • creates an eerie and, to some people, threatening environment
  • creates extra problems for people with impaired vision
  • has a lighting level of less than 80 lux, which contravenes Australian lighting standards
  • does not deter most injecting drug users
  • does not get rid of the problem; it simply moves it to another location

Safety audit program

Council officers, trained in crime prevention and safety audits, provide free practical support and advice in local precincts and business centres.

Sharps (needle) management

Council's sharps management approach has been developed in partnership with the state government and other interested groups.

The approach includes:

  • installing more than 300 sharps disposal bins in public toilets and other public spaces in the city - these bins are only located where discarded sharps have been discovered
  • sharps 'sweeps' - Council regularly checks for discarded sharps throughout the city
  • working with Needle Availability Support Programs to encourage injecting drug users to dispose of their needles safely
  • private property 'sharps bin trial' - In some instances, Council may pay for a sharps bin for up to three months to assist eligible businesses experiencing problems with discarded sharps. After the trial period the business can pay for the continued service or have the bin removed

If your business is interested in seeking assistance from Council to help manage a sharps problem, contact Council.

Security Improvement Program (SIP)

Council participates in the Queensland Government's Security Improvement Program, which aims to improve safety and security in public places. More than six million dollars has been spent over the past five years improving 50 major facilities, toilets, public parks and walkways throughout Brisbane.

Place management

In partnership with the state government, Council's place management initiative aims to create confident, sustainable and safe communities through the provision of services and facilities, employment and enterprise development and recreation and cultural development.

Planning and building a safe Brisbane

Redesign of public toilets

Council is redesigning Brisbane's public toilets to make them safer and more vandal-resistant.

All new public toilets built in Brisbane City must follow the public toilet design guidelines, which include:

  • replacing sections of brick exteriors with mesh screens to increase light and air circulation
  • adding skylights and improving lighting
  • providing secure cubicles with wash facilities - urinals are no longer installed in male toilets
  • locating new toilets in open spaces to improve visibility
  • applying Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to reduce the opportunity for crime

You can download the:

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Planning Scheme Policy

Council has added a CPTED Policy to its City Plan 2000 resulting in new developments or buildings in Brisbane being designed to minimise opportunity for crime and increase public safety.

You can download the CPTED policy document:

Neighbourhood Watch

You can play an important role by joining a local Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) group. NHW is a program organised by the community in partnership with the Queensland Police Service, which aims to reduce crime. People within your neighbourhood work together to improve personal and household security, and encourage interaction and a sense of responsibility between neighbours. All Brisbane City Councillors support neighbourhood watch groups.

For more information, contact your local police station or visit the Neighbourhood Watch website.

Free programs and activities in public spaces   

Council offers free programs and activities that encourage use of our public spaces and parks:

11 October 2017