The change to a digital presence followed Neighbourhood Watch WA director Bernie Durkin’s announcement last year that existing street representatives and suburb managers within the crime prevention program would be removed.
Maylands suburb manager Pat Lim has been in the role for 27 years and said the community program had no intention of moving online and had been working as an independent body since the announcement.
‘The City of Bayswater has put us on a peppercorn lease at the old Morley kindergarten and has since set it up with everything that we need,’ she said.
‘We changed the name of Neighbourhood Watch to Bayswater City Neighbourhood Watch and since we’ve had the new premises in Morley we’ve now developed the Embleton area and have got a suburb manager there.
‘We’re volunteers no matter what and so if we can do it on our own, with some support with the council, we’ll go on that way.’
Neighbourhood Watch State co-ordinator Yolanda Zec said it planned to introduce a range of additional measures to increase the program’s online presence and encourage a wider community base to become involved in crime prevention activities.
She said the new online community safety and crime prevention initiative, ewatch, could benefit the State and ensure police maintained regular and proactive communication with the community.
‘ewatch is an email-based system that connects Neighbourhood Watch members and residents to their local police and council through regular email updates on crime trends and statistics, safety initiatives, emerging issues and events within their local area,’ Ms Zec said.
‘After the ewatch system has been thoroughly tested and improved, a state-wide roll out throughout all 14 police districts within WA will commence with a September state launch, hosted at the IGA Perth Royal Show 2013.’
Residents should continue to report suspicious activity as it happens by calling police on 131 444, or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with general information on crime.