Sunday, 14 October 2012

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH - AUSTRALIA


History

Neighbourhood Watch in Victoria was started when it was realised that the Police alone could not control the rising crime rate, in particular burglary and related thefts. The support of the public was sought to help reduce crimes such as burglary and theft which resulted in a pilot area opened in 1983 in Kananook, a suburb of Frankston.
The program has been so successful in preventing crime that there are now 1,300 Neighbourhood Watch areas servicing both city and rural locations and totalling more than 900,000 households. 2.8 million people in Victoria live in Neighbourhood Watch areas which is approximately half the population.

Objectives and Strategies

Objectives

  • Minimise the incidence of preventable crime.
  • Deter criminal activity by increasing the probability of apprehension.
  • Reduce the fear of crime.
  • Increase the reporting of crime and suspicious behaviour.
  • Improve the degree of personal and household security through education.
  • Expand the program's involvement in wider community safety and crime prevention initiatives.

Strategies

  • Operation Identification:
    The systematic marking of valuable household items with their driver's licence number preceded by the letter "V" for Victoria. Items which are marked and can be identified become a much less inviting target for thieves. Smaller items such as jewellery or items which cannot be marked should be photographed alongside a ruler or coin to indicate the size.
  • Keeping residents informed: 
    Providing information of the incidence of crime in their area on a regular basis through newsletters and advising how to effectively identify suspicious people and activity and report same.
  • Increasing residents' awareness and knowledge: 
    Informing residents of practical personal and household security enables them to best secure their homes and increase their personal safety.
  • Sign posting areas: 
    Displaying Neighbourhood Watch signs and material operates as a visible deterrent to criminal activity by identifying a particular area as having active Neighbourhood Watch participants.

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