Citizens must be proactive

The mounting community frustration over Tamworth’s unacceptable crime rate is the trigger for its citizens to contribute proactive initiatives to help drive down the number of incidents.

While it is up to the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, the community has a role to play.

Firstly, it must maintain the pressure on our elected political representatives, and further afield, the government ministers who are responsible for the portfolios which have a link to Tamworth’s problems.

The $50,000 offered by the Attorney-General when he visited the city as the government’s representative at a second law and order meeting is important seed-money to develop a community action plan.

The Tamworth community has repeatedly shown its ability to respond in times of crisis and need.

Tapping into that community spirit has the potential to deliver some real benefits. There are some bright and sensible ideas as to how the community might help itself deal with this troubling matter.

Years ago the Neighbourhood Watch scheme was hailed a huge success. While it ran out of puff due to a number of reasons, the concept of neighbours looking out for neighbours remains a valid crime fighting weapon. Making it harder for thieves to break-in to homes is a good deterrent. Opportunistic thieves will always favour the easiest target.

Developing a similar scheme to Neighbourhood Watch could help, but with some new ideas it also might be able to be improved. The neighbourhood committees which helped run the scheme could be reinvigorated and with a real community push to engage with one another we might be able to reduce the opportunities thieves are looking for.

Keeping a watch on the elderly in our community who are vulnerable needs our attention.

We need to work with the police who also need our support and we must continue the campaign for action in relation to the issuing of bail and how repeat offenders are treated by the judicial system.

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