Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 December 2009) . . Page.. 5622 ..
Tonight I would like to congratulate the new members elected at the recent annual general meeting to the Tuggeranong Community Council executive. The new president is Darryl Johnston and the committee members are Jan and Colin Petrie, Jane and Richard Hedges, Eric Traise and Albert Orszaczky. We wish them well.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (6.57): This year, ACT Neighbourhood Watch is celebrating its silver jubilee, recording 25 years of magnificent service to the Canberra community. I was very pleased to be able to attend the 25th anniversary dinner in September along with volunteers and their families and friends. I was joined by Assembly colleagues from the opposition Zed Seselja, Jeremy Hanson and Steve Doszpot. Steve is a great advocate for Neighbourhood Watch across Canberra, and particularly in the Tuggeranong Valley.
Neighbourhood Watch is the grassroots community group through which members of the community look out for each other and aim for crime prevention. Neighbourhood Watch takes a number of different approaches to prevent crime and to make a prosecution for a crime committed more likely to succeed. Some of their initiatives include: education initiatives about safety and security; watching out for suspicious activity and crime and promptly reporting this; improving communication between police and the community; improving the quality of information provided to the police; encouraging people to identify and record all household items of value; and distributing information to members of the community through newsletters delivered by volunteers.
The police rely on witnesses to successfully prosecute crime, and of course we are all better off when crime is prevented, so we need to be conscious of what is happening around us. That is why Neighbourhood Watch is so important. One of the mottos in ACT Neighbourhood Watch is “if in doubt, shout out”. The sooner something is reported, the quicker something can be done about it. Neighbourhood Watch has some 3,000 members in 45 areas across the territory. I have been told that Neighbourhood Watch is receiving many applications a month, contributing to a membership resurgence, particularly in Belconnen.
One of the reasons for the recent success of ACT Neighbourhood Watch is the adoption of a suburb by suburb approach. Former president Ursula Macdermott said, “Once we made it suburb specific, Neighbourhood Watch became more effective, as people felt like they belonged.”
One example of the great work done at the suburb level is that undertaken by the Melba-Spence Neighbourhood Watch group. The area coordinator is Jackie Norovsambuu and the newsletter is edited by Marilyn McConnell-Twiss. This newsletter contains information on the next meeting and advice on security issues. The November 2009 issue included information on how to be party-smart during the summer months. It has information on giving graffiti the boot, how to report and prevent crime, and other community activities in the area. There are also messages from sponsors of the newsletter. It is a great example of the community and