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Hutt Street security guards won't fix any problems: AnglicareSA CEO

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A city councillor’s proposal to have security guards patrol Hutt Street to reduce anti-social behaviour will only move any problems elsewhere, AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman says.

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The owner of Hutt Street’s Bici Café told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning she was selling the business because of violent incidents over the past 12 months.

In an op-ed in The Advertiser today, south ward councillor Alex Antic writes the Adelaide City Council should post security guards to patrol the street, because “on a daily basis, the people of that precinct are terrorised by the scourge of serious criminal and anti-social behaviour”.

Antic will move to have the council employ ‘precinct safety and surveillance officers’ to patrol Hutt Street and report “signs of anti-social and criminal behaviour to the relevant authorities”.

But Reverend Sandeman told InDaily “geographic approaches” such as security guard patrols move anti-social behaviour elsewhere rather than tackling its causes.

“Security guards are really a way of moving the issue, whatever it is, somewhere else,” he said.

“That’s a geographic solution.

“It isn’t ensuring those individuals have the services and support they need.”

Sandeman is also co-chair of the Zero Project, which aims to connect services across Adelaide to provide comprehensive, individualised services to move people out of homelessness in a sustainable way.

The Adelaide City Council has committed $150,000 to support the project.

The council is in the process of establishing a working group of Hutt Street precinct stakeholders, including business owners, residents and social services.

It will also fund five new CCTV cameras for Hutt Street.

Sandeman told InDaily the Adelaide City Council should consider Hutt Street and the south-east corner of the CBD within the broader Zero Project framework.

“Geographic approaches simply aim to shift the issue elsewhere rather than deal with the fundamental cause,” said Sandeman.

“They can further alienate and further reinforce the lifestyle of the people that those punitive approaches are aiming at.”

Antic has repeatedly insisted he makes no criticism or the Hutt Street Centre – although he has questioned what it is doing to curb anti-social behaviour in the area – and that he has no intention of maligning homeless people, who he says are “also frightened”.

InDaily contacted Antic for comment.

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