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Stepping up to protect Queenslanders against crime

Posted: 5am 29 Apr 2022

After successfully founding his own Neighbourhood Watch group two years ago, Newport resident Jay Peters will step into a new role which will help all Queenslanders feel safe.

Jay, who is the founder of the Newport Waterside Neighbourhood Group, has been selected to be the representative for Moreton Bay Neighbourhood Watch on the Community Advisory Committee for Neighbourhood Watch Queensland.

In this role he will collaborate with other district representatives across the state to put in better systems and practices to update all Neighbourhood Watch groups, ensuring they are reaching people in their neighbourhood and relaying important safety messages in a timely matter.

Jay, who works as a real estate agent and is also part of the Volunteers in Policing program, said crime prevention and safety is a message everyone needs to hear.

“With the new role, I will be assisting and developing other Neighbourhood Watch groups, not just in our region, but across Queensland, so they can put in better systems and practices that we have been doing, which has been quite successful,” he said.

“We will be helping some of the groups get up to the levels that we are operating at, because we have been quite successful in deterring crime and catching offenders.

“We need the groups to be at the next level, at a higher policing level, to ensure what is filtered back down to the other groups is accurate and current, which I think is the most important thing.

“Neighbourhood Watch has been around for many years, and we must try and get it up to modern day forms of communication to be able to deliver a good service to the community. The platforms we use need to be done properly and consistently.

“We have to ensure the safety and crime preventative messages from the Queensland Police are being shared with everyone, no matter if you are 20 or 80-years-old.”

Neighbourhood Watch groups are vital for releasing safety messages to households.

Caring for his neighbourhood

When crime started to spike in his own neighbourhood, Jay took the initiative and founded his own Neighbourhood Watch Group, with assistance from the Crime Prevention Unit.

“I founded the Newport Waterside Neighbourhood Watch Group two years ago during COVID because we had a lot of property theft occurring in our estate,” he said.

“Newport Waterside is a Stockland Estate - it is a new division that was only built some years ago, so there was a lot of opportunistic crime that was happening.

“We developed a program with assistance from the Crime Prevention Unit to implement and formalise the Neighbourhood Watch Group.

“We have a closed Facebook page, so the information we are putting out is very beneficial to the community but also a hinderance to those that are trying to create crime in our area. This page has been very successful.

“We have been involved in a few arrests due to the fact we have a close connection with the Redcliffe Police, with them giving us the opportunity to work with the detectives when it comes to different crimes that are occurring during the year.”

Vital link for police

Sergeant Sarah Grayson from the Redcliffe Police Station has congratulated Jay for taking up this position, saying the role of Neighbourhood Watch Groups are a vital part of the community.

“Jay has put in a huge amount of time and effort - many, many hours – so it’s very well deserved,” Sergeant Grayson said.

“Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Like the Newport Waterside Neighbourhood Watch Group, are so vital to the community.

“Their aim is to conduct crime prevention-type activities within their boundary or suburb, and work closely with the police to facilitate information sharing to the public such as crime trends and what is happening in the different suburbs.

“It is a huge help to me when Neighbourhood Watch groups are proactive, especially when they are active on social media and sharing vital information we need to get out there quickly.”

If you would like to know more about Neighbourhood Watch, or find a Neighbourhood Watch near you, visit www.nhwq.org and enter your suburb in the search bar.

Safety tips to protect your property

Jay has shared some of his top tips on how people can protect their properties and deter criminals.

“Seven out of 10 crimes occur by people not securing their items properly, and that’s generally property theft, with the majority of those being your car,” he said.

“Leaving your car unlocked, the keys inside, or the remote control in your car, even when it is parked in the garage, is not a good idea.

“If you have cameras, we encourage people to register them with the Community Camera Alliance. That’s critical to be able to implement your camera because a lot of people have CCTV cameras, and it saves police resources.

“It means they are not having to drive down the street to see who has a camera with recorded information that might lead to an arrest.”

Jay also said it is important people know the correct way in how to report any suspicious behaviour or a crime.

“I get a lot of people emailing and messaging our group saying, “we just had someone attempt to break into our house, but they haven’t stolen anything, and we just wanted you to know”.

“I tell them it’s great that they are letting me know, but at the same time they are not letting the police know.

“If there is a spike in crime, we need to have those statistics recorded. If we don’t record it, the police can’t add any operational duties for those officers that are on, like being out and patrolling the area, because they are not aware of it.

“It is important people know how to contact Policelink or Crime Stoppers correctly and know that they are aren’t being a nuisance.

“Every piece of information helps.”

To contact Policelink phone 131 444

To contact Crime Stoppers phone 1800 333 000.

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