Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) Sign Program

The City of Joondalup has recently received funding to install 65 Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signs as part of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) grants application program.

The Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) program is a coding system designed to improve emergency incident response times of locating the closest beach access points by installing signs with unique numbers at beach access points. Provision of specific location information is vital when emergency services are deployed in the event of shark attacks or other beach emergencies and for reporting shark sightings.

The City encourages beach users to familiarise themselves with sign locations and to take note of the unique code associated with each location. Detailed maps of all sign locations and a Frequently Asked Questions document can be downloaded below.

Scenarios where users can reference BEN signs unique codes include:

  • When reporting shark sightings (contact Water Police on 9442 8600)
  • When reporting a beach emergency (contact Police on 000)

Note: Where possible, callers should wait at the beach access point until emergency service personnel arrive.

The City also encourages its residents and visitors to download the “Emergency+” app, which is a free app developed by Australia’s emergency services and their Government and industry partners. The app uses GPS functionality in smart phones to callers and provides critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.

Online Safety

During the development of the City’s Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan 2014 – 2018, the issue of cyber or online safety and associated themes emerged as being of concern or interest to the local community. The risks presented by unsafe Internet or mobile device use are real and can lead to serious outcomes including financial loss, identity theft, damage to reputation and criminal charges.

There is a range of sources of information online that can provide tips on safe Internet use, the latest details about online threats or scams and formal channels for reporting online criminal activity or malicious content.

The following programs and sites may be helpful:

Office of the eSafety Commissioner

This office of the Australian Government provides the following:

  • Online safety education for Australian Children and young people
  • A complaints service for young Australians who experience serious cyberbullying
  • A reporting channel for illegal online content

ACORN

The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) is a national policing initiative that lets individuals and businesses make secure reports for incidents of cybercrime. ACORN also provides online safety information and support links for victims of cybercrime.

ThinkUKnow Australia

This initiative lead by the Australian Federal Police provides online safety information for children and parents/carers with websites tailored to help different age groups:

  • Need advice? – Because each situation is different, it’s important to outline what issues young people might experience and strategies that have worked for others
  • Parents Portal – How to support safe web use by young people, keep up with technology and manage online risks
  • Teachers Toolkit – This is an initiative has been developed to assist teachers in addressing specific issues in the classroom environment

Stay Smart Online

Want the latest information about online risks, scams and fixes and to get Internet security and safety tips for business, individuals and devices? Stay Smart Online has a wide range of up to date details and you can register to receive alerts about developing threats and how to guard against them.

Theatrical Response Group – Constable Care Child Safety Foundation

The City’s long term cooperative relationship with the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation (CCCSF) has seen it work closely with the CCCSF as they have developed their Theatrical Response Group (TRG) concept. The TRG are professional actors that use interactive forum theatre to raise awareness about current issues facing young people and challenge certain decisions and behaviour.

The City provides annual funding support to the CCCSF to assist with delivering their programs to schools within the City of Joondalup.

The TRG have developed a realistic drama script called Isolation with links to online bullying and safety. This and other themed performances are available to local schools as a one off event or as an intensive in term drama class. The CCCSF can also deliver a Screen Name interactive show with an Internet safety theme for upper primary school groups. For further information contact the CCCSF on 9272 0007 or the City’s Community Safety team.

Community safety

The City coordinates and supports a range of community safety programs in local areas. These programs have a variety of aims including deterring crime, managing graffiti, planning for emergencies and supporting child safety education.

The City is also involved in contributing to planning for emergencies that can impact local areas and leading community recovery efforts.