The Commissioner of Police recently announced the promotion of Peter Harriss and Stuart Wilkinson to the rank of Commander within the Tasmania Police Service. Neighbourhood Watch has long enjoyed the personal support of both officers and we look forward to working with them in their new roles into the future.
Commander Peter Harriss has most recently been the Divisional Inspector at the Sorell East Coast Division where he has actively supported the establishment of the Southern Beaches Neighbourhood Watch which covers the 7173 postcode area from Lewisham to Connellys Marsh. Peter holds two Masters-Degrees and now takes on responsibility for Strategy and Support for the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management.
Commander Stuart Wilkinson has previously worked with the National Crime Authority and was most recently the Detective Inspector in Charge of the Devonport CIB. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Arts with Professional Honours along with a number of other post-graduate qualifications. Stuart is now the Commander of Northern District – currently home to 12 Neighbourhood Watch Groups. Stuart has already indicated his desire to continue the support NHW has long enjoyed in the north of the state.
Congratulations and welcome to both officers in their new leadership role.
What a great way to start 2021 with a Cuppa With a Cop (CWAC) at Risdon Vale on Wednesday, 17 February 21. The Neighbourhood House did themselves and their community proud when over 60 residents, police and VIPs came together to share some morning tea and stories about their suburb and the ongoing relationship with Neighbourhood Watch. And what a fantastic morning tea it was with the members of the Neighbourhood Centre deserving of a big thank you for putting on a fabulous spread that was enjoyed by all who attended.
35 years ago, the photo below appeared in the Mercury Newspaper reporting on the erection of the first Neighbourhood Watch sign in Tasmania which was in Risdon Vale. That photo had the NHW State President, Dr Michael Readett, Clarence Police Inspector, John Woolley and Mrs Ethel Guy shouldering the brand. This photo was re-created for the CWAC celebrations with now retired John Woolley supervising the placement of a NHW sign by current President, Peter Edwards, Acting Inspector Michael Foster and Neighbourhood House manager, Ann Harrison.
A particular highlight of this day was the attendance of immediate past-President, Jan Dunsby.
It was perhaps a fitting occasion for Jan to be presented with her Life Membership Certificate in the presence of the Minister for Police and Neighbourhood Watch supporters to recognise her lengthy leadership contribution to Neighbourhood Watch.
The Certificate citation read:
For outstanding service as a member of Neighbourhood Watch Tasmania since 2001, but particularly for her dedicated and exceptional leadership as our President for a continuous period of 12 years to 2019.
This is a reminder about the NHWA inaugural International Conference to be held at Sea World on the Gold Coast on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 May 2021. Updated information which includes value for early bird registrations can be found by clicking on this link: https://nhw2021.com.au/. Attendance at this conference offers a unique opportunity to hear of Neighbourhood Watch initiatives and successes first-hand. The Key-note speaker is Professor Lorraine Mazerolle who will speak about the research that establishes the success and effectiveness of Neighbourhood Watch.
Of course, there are other benefits in attending. The opportunity to meet presenters and other delegates and have those conversations about what does and doesn’t work is invaluable in keeping up the good work of Neighbourhood Watch – all in a pleasant and supportive environment. We don’t know when there will be another like this in Australia so if you think you would like to go – just do it.
Since COVID-19, Tasmania Police has taken a lead role in supporting the state health plan and investigating compliance breaches. The following statistics provide a better understanding of the additional tasks and responsibilities that have involved the police over the past year.
The ACCC publishes The Little Black Book of Scams and this Bulletin regularly highlights features of common scams that you may be exposed to. This month we report on romance baiting where scammers use dating apps to meet people and over time lure them into investment scams.
Interestingly, while traditional dating and romance scams tend to target older Australians, almost half of all losses to romance baiting comes from people under 35.
Scammers are prepared to develop online relationships over time, sometimes months or years, to gain trust – and ultimately the victim’s money. Often the scammers will ask for money to help with illness, injury, travel, or family crisis. However, another common method is to promote an investment opportunity and the victim will be invited to transfer a small amount of money to demonstrate how easy the investment is. Victims will be told to top up their profits but when they run out of money to transfer – the scammer will cease all communication.
The best advice is to never send money or give your personal details to someone you have only met online. If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible and contact the platform on which you were scammed. You can make a report and get help from the Scamwatch website Scamwatch website by following this link.
We are truly fortunate to have the services of website consultant, Andrew Lockman, to help with the design and ongoing management of the NHWT website. The State Board of Neighbourhood Watch is there to help the membership groups with information, resources, and support for any projects you may wish to run in the course of the year. A recent addition to our website on the front-page banner includes a Meetings heading which will take the reader to extra information about Board Meetings and reports. This may be of particular interest to members who were unable to attend the Annual General Meeting or who would like some more detail on aspects of Tasmanian activities.
Neighbourhood Watch has three intentions, preventing crime, improving safety and promoting neighbourliness. Australian research continues to confirm two things:
Graeme and Margo from Wynyard provided this uplifting example of being victims of neighbourliness.
On a recent Saturday when they left their home for an important speaking engagement – they also secured the house keys inside! Obliged to honour their commitment in Burnie they resolved to solve the problem on the return journey.
On the way home, a stop off at Bunnings and then the local hardware store unfortunately did not provide any solutions and further, a friend who might have been able to help was not available. Once at home their fears were confirmed, and they could not find a way to re-enter their house without significant expense or damage. Two immediate neighbours responded to their plight; one sent a photo of the required key type to nearby friends in case anyone might have a duplicate. Another neighbour brought them a cold drink whilst they sweltered in the hot sun trying to solve the problem.
The pièce de resistance came from another neighbour who did a more thorough examination of the external walls and found a window ajar that could be manipulated. This facilitated a local boy of 10 years to be hoisted to gain entry to the house and unlock the door from the inside. Their prayers had been answered and there were celebrations all round!!
We could say that the lessons learnt might be to always take your house keys with you; or leave a spare set with a trusted neighbour. Although the lesson is definitely not to leave a window ajar! The real purpose of relaying this story is it demonstrates the benefit of neighbourliness and how much it was appreciated by Graeme and Margo. Good Neighbours Build Connected Communities!
Here are another five initiatives and in case you lost the previous list – that has been reprinted so you now have a list of 15 good ideas and there will be a few more next Bulletin. If you have any more that have not yet been listed – please send them to me in an email – no postage required!!
Yours in Neighbourhood Watch
Peter Edwards, President
Good Neighbours Create Safer Communities
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