Drive to beat crime revs up

Belmont chief executive Stuart Cole said the extra vehicle would be considered as part of the 2014-15 budget.

‘The City currently has two Community Watch vehicles in operation,’ Mr Cole said.

‘One vehicle provides a 24-hour service throughout the year to residents and businesses, and the other vehicle operates during the busiest period, 3pm to 3am.’

A third vehicle would also provide 24-hour service, but he could not say how it would affect rates.

‘When the Community Watch patrol vehicles were initially set up, the City placed a one-off 3 per cent levy on the rates to cover the cost,’ Mr Cole said.

The current service costs about $660,000 to run each year.

Mr Cole said the vehicles patrolled properties, responded to damage, graffiti and alarm calls, and monitored known hot spots.

‘The patrol vehicles are equipped with CCTV and footage has been provided to police to use as evidence in criminal offences,’ Mr Cole said.

He said crime deterrents were hard to measure, but the patrols had received positive feedback.

‘While residents and businesses value this service, in the City’s Business and Community Perceptions Surveys, the community continued to identify security and safety as a main area to focus on,’ he said.