Building a Safe Community That We Can All Enjoy
Safer North is part of the global Safe Community Movement established in Sweden in 1989 based on the criteria supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and administered by the Safe Community Collaborating Centres around the world. The safe community model was established for injury prevention and safety promotion at local level for all age groups, environments and situations.
Safer North Community Trust is responsible for promoting safety and reducing preventable injuries in Auckland North. The Safe Community Declaration was 'Every person has the equal right to have all the advantages of a healthy and safe life". The World Health Organisation supports the safe community model.
The International Safe Community designation recognises the efforts of the city, its organisations and individuals that work together to promote safety and reduce the incidence and/or severity of injuries.
On the 24th July 2007 North Shore City was the 116th community in the world to be accredited and is the sixth New Zealand city to be honoured with the designation and was re- accredited in 2009. In 2013 Safer North was re-designated as a Pan Pacific Network Safe Community. The Pan Pacific Safe Community Network comprises of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA.
Progress of the strategies will be measured and reviewed every year to ensure International Safe Community standards are achieved to maintain ISC re-accreditation.
Please visit http://www.safecommunities.org.nz/sc/ns
A community can be defined as a delineated geographical area, groups with common interests, professional associations, or the individuals who provide services in a specific location. The principles of a safe community will change accordingly, from place to place.
Many communities are aspirants to the goals of Safe Communities without being aware of it. In fact, it is not essential that community safety to be the point of departure. If a community is empowered to address one issue, it then becomes more possible to deal with other and increasingly complex issues. The community that has established a context for building relationships, organizing community intervention, and achieving results has taken the valuable first steps for becoming a Safe Community.
In 1978, Falköping initiated its injury registration program, followed by an injury program in 1979. In three years, there was a 27% reduction in injuries in the work, domestic and traffic areas. In 1991, Falköping was designated International Safe Community.
The Safe Community initiative differs in comparison to other injury prevention programs. In the former, the leading role is played by the community itself. The term Safe Community implies that the community aspires to safety in a structured approach, not that the community is already perfectly safe. Creative methods of education and environmental change joined with appropriate legislation and enforcement are an important beginning for the safety of a community. No single approach is sufficient for changing existing behaviour patterns. The media, for example, can be a very powerful tool in heightening public awareness.
Programs to prevent and control injuries and accidents must identify and characterize the injury problem and evaluate the effectiveness of injury control interventions. Though epidemiology is not the soul of the safe communities concept, the vital importance of it must be respected.