Coalition wants N'hood Watch

NEIGHBOURHOOD Watch will be revamped by a NSW Coalition government, says Nationals MP for Clarence Steve Cansdell.

But the president of the Park Beach Community Group, Jenny Grant, said there appeared to be little difference between the existing Neighbourhood Watch and the new Coalition model, except for the use of electronic online data.

Mr Cansdell said since losing the support of the NSW Labor Government, Neighbourhood Watch’s popularity had waned and organisers struggled to get people involved.

He said the NSW Liberals and Nationals believed the basic principle of Neighbourhood Watch was right and with the help of technology the community could once again work in partnership with police to make our streets safe again.

“While nothing can replace having police on the beat, local communities should be the eyes and ears of the police force,” Mr Cansdell said.

Mr Cansdell said one key initiative in the Coalition policy was the establishment of Online Neighbourhood Watch Groups, which would allow people to share information instantly.

He said real-time information on local crime trends was critical to support an improved Neighbourhood Watch program.

“The Online Neighbourhood Watch program will make use of the internet and social networking tools to better connect local communities to their local police and involve them more effectively in crime prevention and neighbourhood surveillance,” Mr Cansdell said.

The Park Beach Community Group is organising a public Meet the Candidates Forum at 4pm on March 20 at Park Beach Bowling Club. Topics will be restricted to matters relevant to Park Beach.

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