Claim refuted

IN response to Kevin Bettridge’s letter in last week’s edition headlined ‘Image distorted’, Revive Rivervale’s aim is for the community to work together, providing a voice for the community, ensuring a vibrant and safer community for everyone to enjoy.

We advocate and promote change by enabling social and cultural diversity, as well as, promoting safe communities. Our key focus is one of forming partnerships and advocating for services.

We refute wholly the claim by Mr Bettridge that we exist to denigrate our community of Rivervale.

One of our key discussion points was to ensure the perception and image of anti-social behaviour and crime of the suburb was based on factual circumstances, and not of exaggeration and misinformation.

I recount speaking with an elderly neighbour who drove out of Rivervale to take her dog for a walk, and attending a council meeting where a female resident spoke about her fear to walk the street after a distressing altercation, as being two of the key drivers for my need for action.

In gauging community feedback and support, it was evident that residents of Rivervale were crying out for action.

Revive Rivervale makes clear distinction when anti-social behaviour and crime occur, and when they are caused by individuals and not solely because of certain demographics. We fully recognise that most public housing tenants are exceptional tenants.

However, let us not put our heads in the sand and pretend there are not issues resulting from crime and anti-social behaviour as a direct result of individuals, whether they be from public housing or other accommodation.

Crime statistics from the WA Police website from May 1, 2012 to May 31 this year state 536 incidents of crime reported compared to 448 in Belmont.

A similar suburb, Cloverdale, had 450 incidents of crime reported.

What these statistics show is that there are improvements to be made, through education and promoting safer communities.

I am more than happy to discuss this with Mr Bettridge or if any community members wish more information regarding Revive Rivervale.

NEALE GLEESON, chairman,

Revive Rivervale