Members of Bundaberg Neighbourhood Watch last night gathered to celebrate the organisation's 30 years of service to the region.
According to Area Coordinator Mary Waugh, there had been many changes since the community-run organisation began three decades ago.
“It started out because the neighbourhood wanted to introduce a community policing initiative,” she said.
“We had to canvas our designated area, which at the time stretched from Barolin Street, Sims Road, Harvey Street and McCarthy Street, to see if we could garner support.
“The residents were well behind the initiative and positive about it, so Bundaberg Neighbourhood Watch officially began operating in March 1990.”
Mary said the organisation had spent the past 30 years keeping residents updated on crime, lighting, security measures and more in the area.
She said in the last few years they had extended the boundary out even further to include Chancellor Drive, St Mary's Catholic School and Thabeban State School.
“Our group meets once a month with a police liaison officer to discuss what has been happening in the neighbourhood,” Mary said.
“We have a newsletter drop every month to keep the community up to date which covers everything from scams to security to all sorts of crime to look out for and more.”
Having been a police officer for 38 years in Bundaberg prior to joining the Neighbourhood Watch, Mary said she had seen many changes in policing and crime over time.
“Computers were only just being introduced when I first started,” she said.
“The only equipment we carried with us were a baton and our handcuffs.
“Then along came phones and laptops and more and more technology.”
Mary said the introduction of technology to policing had been beneficial over the years, not just for crime statistics but also to help with community engagement and responsiveness.
“With modern technology you can get information out there a lot faster and you can source information more quickly” she said.
“It has also done wonders for community policing; I think it has brought the public closer in working with the police.
“Organisations like Crimestoppers and the Neighbourhood Watch have been instrumental in this as well.”
Mary said the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Watch 30th Anniversary celebration was a time to look back on the success of the organisation and to congratulate some of its earliest members.
“Some of our initial members who have been with us for the full 30 years are now well into their 90s and still an active part of the group,” Mary said.
“Their passion is truly fantastic to see.”
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