THE use of CCTV surveillance, graffiti, other vandalism, litter, antisocial behaviour and trail bike riding were among the key issues of concern for residents at two community safety forums last week.
Shellharbour City residents were invited to the forums/barbecues at Williams Park, Warilla, last Tuesday and Hippisley Park, Oak Flats, last Thursday afternoon.
The community-run meetings aimed to provide the setting for discussion about any crime-related activities or safety concerns.
Council's crime prevention co-ordinator Meegan Martinez-Smith said the informal events were an extension of its usual safety forum meetings in the two suburbs, which take place quarterly.
"We're evaluating the safety forums and trying to reach a wider demographic, as well as looking at things like online forums. We're trying to reach a wider target group and get some new people involved."
Bob Carberry, 74, has been living in Oak Flats for 43 years. He attends some Oak Flats Safety Forum meetings.
Overall he felt the suburb was "fairly safe", but he still had some issues, such as graffiti, litter and young people riding trail bikes on shared pathways. He felt that installing CCTV facilities in the main street would be a good start.
"I wouldn't walk around Oak Flats on my own of a night time," he said.
"I wouldn't walk on a shared pathway at night ... The police presence could be much better.
"I'm not scared, but I am concerned for my family's safety, like my grandson being able to walk home from my place on his own.
"There's a lot of disrespect for public property, which annoys me."
Paul Dickinson, 48, also of Oak Flats, attended the barbecue - his first safety forum meeting.
He felt it was a safe neighbourhood overall, but wasn't pleased with some antisocial behaviour.
"I'm a little bit upset about some vandalism around here," he said.
"I just want to be a part of it [the forum], see if there's any avenue to try and stop it."
Lake Illawarra Local Area Command Senior Constable Ben Walsh said police wanted to hear from the community about issues affecting them.