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Personal Safety in Canberra
Thankfully this is not a warning but rather a message to put your mind at ease when visiting Canberra.
Australia and Australian cities are amongst the safest travel locations in the world.
Canberra, the Capital of Australia and oft described as a big country town, is very safe from a visitor perspective with one small exception which would not apply to most readers here on VT.
That exception relates to night clubs in the City where fights and other rowdiness can occur especially around closing time (typically 4am). Even this is nothing worse than what can occur anywhere else. If your are frequenting night clubs just be weary of this and avoid and fights and scuffles. This warning is not intended to suggest you should stay way - far from it - if this is your thing enjoy what limited range of it Canberra has to offer.
Having said the above, Canberra is not without crime and usual precautions such as not unnecessarily flashing cash, expensive jewelery and electronic equipment around should be adhered to. Lock your car and do not leave valuables in sight.
ACT Housing is full of druggies/drugo's, ex-con's and veritable losers. ACT Housing will assure you that this is not the case. But if anyone here has ever had any experience with ACT Housing, they will tell you that ACT Housing employee's are expert liars.
I fear that many, if not most, ACT Housing tenants AND employee's are full-time masochistic junkies. The sad thing is, the government keeps trying to put these people into jobs they simply cannot maintain, which is perhaps why ACT Housing is such an ineffectual department. The stupid leading the stupid(er), perhaps? If a non-junkie ACT Housing tenant has a legitimate complaint, who is going to listen? If you do work for ACT Housing, and you are not a junkie, then leave, preferably soon, otherwise you will become the one thing you and the rest of the world hate the most.
If Australia could ever be defined as having a ghetto, Canberra would be it. And it is right under the big fat nose of the Government.
If you are thinking of sending your teenage son/daughter off into the wide blue yonder, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT send them off into Public Housing in Canberra, esp. if you care about their well-being. If you do, be forewarned, there is no turning back. They will be assimilated.
I moved to Canberra from Tasmania and I have been here for 3 years. I have never seen so many druggies in a small area in any other Australian city.
I would advise don't get involved in conversations with suspect-looking individuals. They always want money or smokes. They come up with all these weird stories that don't make sense about why they need you to give them money.
There is major drug problems in public housing areas, but do not be fooled, drug dealers and adicts live in the rich apartments/houses too.
Theft is a big problem too. I've had my bag stolen twice and my car stolen.
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Provided you exercise no more than normal common sense in crowded areas, pubs or clubs, especially late at night, you are unlikely to have any problems in Canberra. It is one of Australia's safest cities.
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Canberra: Be careful in Public
Canberra is often touted as a quiet city. True, it does not have as much traffic, residents or commerce as, say, Melbourne or Sydney, but it does have its own dangers in public areas. I agree with the other writers on Canberra here. Drug addicts pose the most serious problem in Canberra. There are way too many junkies here. You see them everywhere, on the street, on the bus. All public housing apartments in Canberra are drug distribution areas, and these days the major players are moving into private housing complexes to avoid detection.
Watch out for junkies while driving. They drive and cross roads really dangerously. If you have an expensive looking bag, do not leave it unattended. If you have lots of money, do not let it be seen even in respectable places. If you smoke, do not display your pack of cigarettes. They're very fond of asking for cigarettes and spare change. Smokers on average get asked for cigarettes 3 times a day by junkies.
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It's hard to say, but again...
It's hard to say, but again syringes. The use of hard drugs in Canberra is the same as in most other Capital cities. Only difference, Canberra is getting drugs paradise. Dealers and users do what they want because the police are afraid to arrest someone. A cab driver told me the police was afraid to pick up kids from dignitaries as politician, ambassadors etc, etc. I noticed Canberra had clean public toilets last year (they were new!!!) now it is a mess. Be careful in public toilets and parks (Canberra has no beaches as it is a inland Capital) that you don't get in touch with syringes. Amazing that this spoiled youth only think about their kicks and not even use the syringes-containers (see picture) that's hanging in all public toilets, even in the casino. Yes, you read well, in the casino. I hear you thinking, which junkie has money (not even think about their dressing) to go to the casino? The dignitaries themselves? Sigh… Postscript... I hear police have introduced cameras in 15 spots around the busy area of Civic as part of their policing activity so maybe this will help.
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