OUTGOING Area Coordinator of the Northern Tablelands Neighbourhood Watch Denis McKinley is calling on the community to become involved with the organisation as their Annual General Meeting (AGM) quickly approaches.
Held on November 11 at the Mareeba CWA Hall, the purpose of the AGM is to highlight the inherent need for organisations such as Neighbourhood Watch in helping the Queensland Police Service (QPS) curb crime in the community.
Mr McKinley said it’s critical for more members of the public from Mareeba and surrounds to become actively involved with Neighbourhood Watch.
“Limiting crime is a very complex problem and there’s certainly not an easy solution,” he said.
“But the more hands on deck we have from the community the better chance we have at fixing a number of the problems we are facing here.
“The Neighbourhood Watch does a fantastic job at assisting police in providing a safer region when utilised correctly – so we need to get the word out there about the important role such organisations play when they have strong community support.
“So we would like everyone involved, including residents, business people and other agencies.”
Mr McKinley said his greatest concern regarding crime in Mareeba is the increasing number of break and enters and car thefts happening against the town’s older population.
“It’s terrible to see the pensioners being the targets of these sorts of crimes,” he said.
“They are some of the most vulnerable people in our community and the financial and emotional hardship they’re experiencing as a result of such crimes is unacceptable.”
Tablelands Patrol Group Senior Sergeant Derek Garner echoed Mr McKinley’s comments, noting that the police service’s resources are limited and that any bit of help from the community is crucial.
“A lot of our resources are put towards situation with more of an immediate need,” he said.
“So ultimately the Neighbourhood Watch’s success is reliant upon community involvement.
“If neighbours can keep an eye out and report a crime or suspicious activity, it gives the police a far greater chance of identifying crimes and holding the culprits responsible.”
Tablelands Patrol Group Senior Constable Aleda Day said there will be three Northern Tablelands Neighbourhood Watch positions vacant come November should anyone who is interested.
“There will be the Area Coordinator, Treasurer and Secretary positions available for those who want to be involved,” she said.
“The Northern Tablelands Neighbourhood Watch doesn’t just represent Mareeba – the area this specific neighbourhood watch covers also includes this side of Biboohra, Wylandra and out to Malone and Mareeba-Dimbulah Road.
“So it’s a significant area and hopefully we will see a strong crowd on hand at the AGM in November so members of the community can gain a greater understanding of the wonderful work Neighbourhood Watch does in keeping our region safe.”
For those interested in attending, the Northern Tablelands Neighbourhood Watch AGM will be held at the Mareeba CWA Hall on Monday, November 11 and will run from 6:30pm – 7pm.
There will be a free sausage sizzle provided on the night.