Online future for neighbourly watchdog

Dave Mallett.
Dave Mallett.

Supt Carver has spoken out amid criticism from local Neighbourhood Watch members, whose funding cuts have hit home.

District teams have been holding their final meetings this month, after the WA Police community engagement division ended its financial support for Neighbourhood Watch last November.

Supt Carver said it would live on, but in a more effective manner online.

He encouraged suburb managers to engage with social media.

But Butler Neighbourhood Watch manager Dave Mallett argued the move would exclude those who weren’t internet savvy.

‘A lot of the older people aren’t computer literate enough,’ he said.

Supt Carver said most members were already receiving information through email, so a move to social media was just one-step further.

‘It’s been touted that Neighbourhood Watch is shutting down and that’s not correct at all,’ he said.

‘We want people to understand that social media is a better, faster and stronger way to provide a flow of information both ways,’ he said.

‘It will encourage a wider community base to become involved in crime prevention activities.’

He admitted it would take time for people to become accustomed to the new system, but crime prevention would be better for it.

Mr Mallett said over the years volunteer street representatives had supported police at community events as they raised awareness about crime prevention, but they would no longer be able to do so.