Where are the Safe Places? Safety Mapping with Town Campers in Alice Springs

Detail from Gulach 2006 by Terry Ngamandara Wilson
Author/editor: Brown, C
Year published: 2019
Issue no.: 03

Abstract

Safety mapping is a method developed by the researcher with Town Campers in Alice Springs. This method asks participants in focus groups to use maps to identify the safe places in their communities. This method was designed in response to a method which attempted to map crime ‘hot spots’ in Alice Springs by measuring how many times emergency buttons were hit in certain locations. Safety mapping flips this concept to a strengths-based approach by asking participants to identify the safe places in their communities and gather their views about what they consider ‘safe’.

The purpose of the safety mapping is to ascertain whether domestic and family violence was identified as a safety concern by Town Campers, as well as to identify the ‘ingredients’ of safety in the hopes they can be replicated to increase Town Campers’ feelings of safety. The safety mapping also aims to identify safe people and safe relationships that could be drawn upon if Town Campers ever felt unsafe. This paper collates the views of the participants to present the main safety issues according to Town Campers, and what needs to be done to improve safety in Town Camps and within Alice Springs.

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