Bundaberg Region residents are being encouraged to engage with local Neighbourhood Watch groups to participate in the creation of safer, stronger and more active communities.
Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Watch Association Chairman Wendy Byrne said there were nine NHW organisations throughout the region including in Burnett Heads, Moore Park Beach, Elliott Heads, Avoca, Avenell Heights East and Innes Park.
She said joining Neighbourhood Watch was a way to connect with the community and keep in the know on local issues, crime and more.
“Neighbourhood Watch is an official crime prevention program of the Queensland Police Service which allows for it to be community driven and delivered by community members with the assistance of police as required,” she said.
“It is a great way for like-minded people to come together to assist all areas of the community.
“Our mission is to engage and connect individuals, families and businesses for a safe and informed community.”
Wendy said in more recent times the Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Watch Association had taken to social media to increase its audience.
“A big challenge nearly all NHW areas in Bundaberg face is engaging with the younger community members,” she said.
“A busy lifestyle makes it difficult for young families to find extra time to be involved in NHW.
“It is hoped that residents may be happy to engage in NHW by joining an online group which would enable them to keep up to date with things happening in their community.
The online resources provide information on a range of topics including scams, lost property, tips on keeping safe and much more.
Wendy said it was also a way to let the community know about the various events held throughout the year including Coffee with a Cop.
“This is a monthly event held on the third Thursday of each month for two hours from 9.30 am to 11.30 am,” she said.
“Currently you can find us at either Hinkler Central or Sugarland Plaza.”
Acting Inspector of Bundaberg Patrol Group Michael McGarry said the Neighbourhood Watch program was a great asset to the region and in supporting local police.
“Bundaberg Police is assisted and supported by nine Neighbourhood Watch Groups,” he said.
“Neighbourhood Watch plays a critical role in being the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community and providing valuable information to prevent crime.
“Our NHW groups have been so important in minimising the incidence of preventable crime, deterring criminal activity and reducing the fear of crime.”
Becoming an active member of Neighbourhood Watch can be achieved in several ways:
- joining your local NHW group (if there is one in your suburb) – attending meetings, helping with community activities, etc
- joining your area Facebook page (online only groups)
- joining the Bundaberg Facebook page (open to all)
- signing up to the NHW blog (information only)
- consider starting a group in your area