Law and Order

Community Safety

Your personal safety is of utmost importance. Following are tips and advice on staying safe in your home.

The best way to protect against a threatening situation in the home is to plan ahead. You can do this in a number of ways, beginning with these helpful tips and tricks.

Make sure your home is secure

  • check that the locks on all your windows and doors are working,
  • install smoke alarms
  • buy timers for your lights, TV and radio,
  • ensure your alarm and locks meet Australian standards.

Don’t be a stranger

Make an effort to introduce yourself to neighbours and do what you can to maintain a friendly relationship. If you know each other, you’ll be more likely to look out for each other’s safety.

Don’t open the door to people you don’t know

Before opening the door, ask who’s there. If it’s a stranger, continue the conversation through a locked screen door. If someone asks to use your phone, simply direct them to the nearest public phone box, or make the call on their behalf, leaving them outside your home.

Don’t give out personal details

Try not to give people on the phone or at the door your personal details, like marital status, working hours, employment and the number of people living at the house. If a company or institution needs your information, they can request it in writing. Keep a list of important numbers on your fridge.

If you go away

Always organise to have your mail held at the post office or picked up by someone you trust if you go away. Get someone to put your bins out. Consider using a light timer.

Don’t let kids answer the phone

If children are home alone it’s better they don’t answer the phone. By letting calls go through to message bank, people won’t be able to obtain information about your whereabouts.

Check the credentials of tradespeople

If you’re not sure they are who they say they are, don’t let them in. Ask for identification and ring their company to double check.

Trust your instincts

If you think someone is inside your home, don’t enter the house. Call the police on Triple Zero (000) right away.

Stay out of sight, at a safe distance from the house. If you see the intruders leave, take note of their appearance and car registration, make, model and colour.

Consumer & Legal Advice

Advice to consumers is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to make consumers smart shoppers at any age. Organisations exist to help seniors make better decisions when purchasing goods and to give them the confidence to demand good service.

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Web: www.consumer.vic.gov.au
Tel: 1300 558 181

Consumer Affairs Victoria is Victoria’s consumer regulator.

Consumer Affairs provides:

  • information to business, consumers, landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities
  • registers and licences organisations and occupations
  • enforces compliance with consumer laws, and
  • reviews and advises government about Victoria’s consumer protection framework.

Health Complaints Commissioner

Level 26, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000
Tel: 1300 582 113
Web: www.hcc.vic.gov.au

The Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) is an independent statutory authority established to investigate and review complaints about health service providers. The HCC also handles complaints about disclosure of health information and access to health information.

Elder Rights Advocacy

Tel: 9602 3066
Web: www.era.asn.au

Elder Rights Advocacy (ERA) is an independent agency funded by the Federal Government.

ERA offers a free, confidential and independent service to older people (or their representatives) who are receiving an Australian Government subsidised aged care service in Victoria.

Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton 3053
Tel: 1300 891 848.
TTY: 1300 289 621
Web: www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au

The Commission helps people resolve complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and racial or religious vilification through a free, fair and timely dispute resolution service.

Seniors Information Victoria

Tel: 1300 135 090
Web: www.cotavic.org.au/

Seniors Information Victoria offers free information as an independent service, supported by the state government, on a wide range of issues of interest to older Victorians. Issues include housing options for independent living through to residential care, home based and community services, general information on financial and legal matters, health and wellbeing, retirement, new learning opportunities, and much more.

Seniors Rights Victoria

Tel: 1300 368 821
Web: www.seniorsrights.org.au

Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people. Services include a helpline, specialist legal services, short- term support and advocacy for individuals and community and professional education.

Victorian Ombudsman

Level 2, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000
Tel: 9613 6222
Web: www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au

The Victorian Ombudsman investigates complaints about administrative actions taken by Victorian government agencies, including departments, most statutory authorities and local government.

Disability Services Commissioner

Level 20, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000
Tel: 1800 677 342
Web: www.odsc.vic.gov.au

The Disability Services Commissioner provides a free, confidential and supportive complaints resolution process.

Council on the Ageing Victoria (COTA Vic.)

Level 4, 533 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne 3000
Tel: 9655 2100
Web: www.cotavic.org.au

COTA is a leading advocate, educator, and source of trusted information for older Victorians.

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA)

570 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000
Tel: 1300 792 387
Web: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

VLA provides phone advice and referral, as well as casework services for those eligible for legal assistance in relation to criminal law, family law and some civil law matters.

Tenants Victoria

55 Johnston Street Fitzroy 3065
Tel: 9416 2577
Web: www.tuv.org.au

Offer free and confidential advice, assistance and advocacy for tenants and residents renting residential accommodation in Victoria.

Eastern Community Legal Centre

Suite 3, Town Hall Hub. 27 Bank Street, Box Hill VIC 3128
Tel: 9285 4822
Web: www.eclc.org.au

Provides accessible and comprehensive legal information and assistance as well as community legal education to disadvantaged members of the community.