By Michael Giles

THE State Government and local authorities should not underestimate the potential for crime, such as the armed robbery in Wonthaggi last Saturday night, to shake the confidence of local residents.
In the first instance, you have to feel for the front-line employees, who incidentally have been praised highly by police for their actions.
These events have a lasting impact on direct victims.
They also have an impact on the cost of running any business where there’s cash on the premises, not only the cost of putting up sophisticated surveillance systems but also installing barriers and other protection strategies.
And the general community feels it as well, wondering if this is the new normal in local crime.
Last Saturday night’s incident also underscored the importance of having surveillance equipment in and around your business and if you can afford it, around your home.
The armed robbery might be the ‘headline’ incident for the week, but another criminal issue, that’s seriously shaking the resolve of at least half the population, is domestic violence.
And organisations like the Bass Coast Shire Council and the local CFA brigades, who have taken the oath to promote White Ribbon Day this Friday, November 25 and the campaign to stop domestic violence, should be congratulated.
But what about the rest of us? Are you really on board?
Because the truth of it is that women feel less safe in their lives now than they have for many years as a result of what’s going on.
Domestic violence refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are or have been in a domestic relationship. The perpetrator uses violence to control and dominate the other person. This causes fear, physical harm and/or psychological harm. Domestic violence is a violation of human rights.
But it starts with the attitude towards women. The put downs, the apparently harmless jokes, the entrenched responses. We have to change that.
And it is often exacerbated by alcohol abuse and, increasingly by drugs, especially methamphetamine.
In fact, ice use is running rife through a high percentage of the cases in the justice system at the moment.
But, we can do something by changing our attitude to women and also seeking help if we have a problem with alcohol and drugs.