Frankston First Network
building community capacity in safety and crime prevention
“By the completion of the project the network had identified two local projects to work and commenced action planning."
Victoria Police and the Department of Justice and Community Safety appointed Conversation Caravan to deliver the Frankston First Initiative. Frankston First aimed to increase connection between Victoria Police and the community through the creation of a network composed of community leaders working together to deliver local community safety projects.
The project involved the facilitation of five network meetings and five practical workshops designed to build the capacity of the network and the wider Frankston community. 170 members of the Frankston community took part in the project, through the launch, attending a workshop or having a role on the network.
Short timeframes were the biggest challenge faced in the Frankston First project. The project had five months to recruit, train and build a network of community members who had no previous experience working together. At the completion of the project they needed to have identified and commenced planning of a project relating to community safety or crime prevention. This meant we needed to structure meetings with a clear purpose to ensure maximum participation from network members. We also specifically tailored workshops to address any gaps in knowledge or experience identified by community members.
Keys to success
We were able to create a buzz around the project by hosting a launch event with a keynote speaker. Over 70 community members and stakeholders attended the event which resulted in 16 network nominations. Victoria Police and the Department of Justice were also able to use the event to highlight some of the existing work happening in the area and recent crime and safety research findings.
Having a number of different project partners meant we needed to allow ample time for their differing approval processes and requirements. This ensured the timely delivery of project outcomes.
By the completion of the project the network had identified two local projects to work and commenced action planning. Network members had nominated roles and responsibilities for each of the projects and had mapped out key stakeholders and potential community partners.
Following the completion of the project, network members reported an increase in their in connection to the Frankston community, improved comprehension of local crime and safety issues, improved perceptions of public and personal safety and increased personal relationships with local police.
Reflections and Key Learnings
- Provide seed funding for a project: It is not as easy to attract funding when a group/network is not an incorporated body or have not-for-profit status.
- Importance of having a project proposed: Much of the time spent within the network was exploring whether needs exist and determining if there were gaps in the provision of local services. Future projects should have at least a need identified before establishing a network to save on already limited time.
Making a difference
- 5 x number of businesses (catering, printing, AV and venue hire)
- 4 x community centres and groups (venue hire)
- 160 x voices heard (people spoken to)
- 5 x staff supported (number of clients)