Branch hopes to remain active

Neighbourhood Watch Balcatta member Ken Meldrum, Northlands Shopping Centre security guard Shane Davidson, Neighbourhood Watch Stirling district co-ordinator Les Gray and Stiletto’s Multi-Service owner Shane Faux. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d402837
Neighbourhood Watch Balcatta member Ken Meldrum, Northlands Shopping Centre security guard Shane Davidson, Neighbourhood Watch Stirling district co-ordinator Les Gray and Stiletto’s Multi-Service owner Shane Faux. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d402837

At a State forum last November, Neighbourhood Watch WA director Bernie Durkin announced planned changes to the program, which included removing all existing positions of street representatives and suburb managers.

He said at the time that residents could sign up to Neighbourhood Watch by email and the officers in charge of local police stations would send out regular email updates.

Neighbourhood Watch State co-ordinator Yolanda Zec confirmed Neighbourhood Watch would introduce a range of additional measures to increase its online presence this year.

She said a statewide roll out of the e-watch system would occur in September once it had been tested and improved.

Email updates will include crime trends and statistics, safety initiatives, issues and events within local areas. But Stirling’s district branch co-ordinator Les Gray said volunteers could provide more help to people on the ground than from a computer.

In his four years with the branch, Mr Gray has called an ambulance for a stroke victim, helped locate a missing child and secured the scene at a truck-rollover before emergency services could attend.

‘Those couple of incidents highlight the advantage of having people on the street,’ he said.

He said that while the branch had never received funds from Neighbourhood Watch WA, they relied on the organisation for updated literature and resources.

‘We have survived strictly on our own initiative and the kindness and support of a strong group of people,’ he said.

‘Stirling has its own database and has put itself on computer already’