Gordon coming to help Park Beach

HE’S the community whiz up on the Tweed and he’s heading to Park Beach to share his expertise.

Gordon Levenson is secretary of Tweed Valley Neighbourhood Watch which boasts 16 groups and some 800 members, making it one of the most active areas in NSW for community vigilance.

Mr Levenson says they’re gaining ground in the war against crime and he’ll be here next month to help our community re-start Neighbourhood Watch, a key resolution from this week’s public meeting at Park Beach Bowling Club that was attended by around 200 people concerned about anti-social behaviour.

“It’s very successful which proves its working – we’ve had ratbag problems in parts of Banora Point and because we’ve kept the pressure on, the police have been able to clear up a lot of it,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of break-ins on our beachfronts and police have been able to clean that up with public help. There’s also been a lot of hoon problems – young fellas in cars – and we’ve been able to help police with that.”

Mr Levenson, now a 75-year-old retiree, was one of the founding members of Tweed Valley Neighbourhood Watch back in 1984 and he acknowledges the journey has had its ups and downs.

“We were down to eight groups at one stage because of a lack of interest by government and police staffing issues in the Northern Rivers. It’s bounced back because we’ve been prepared to open up new groups when they become available.

“We also have a School Watch at Banora Point High School and we’re also looking at Marine Watch and Business Watch.”

Neighbourhood Watch is always needed, he says, because of crime fluctuations.

“Police clean up one lot of hoods and another load come in.

“We have coastal villages where the crime seems to increase in the summer months – graffiti, stealing from cars and stealing cars – and we’ve had gang problems up here.

“That’s the reason why people see us as beneficial. We have a good relationship with the police and we talk to them about various things that happen. That’s what people want and they can deal with the police through us.”

Local communities will be keenly awaiting the outcome of the March State election, with the Coalition pledging a ‘modern age’ Neighbourhood Watch scheme which would spread to every police local area command.

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