IN ITS short time in existence, the Leeton Neighbourhood Watch committee believes it has made a big difference to the shire.
Neighbourhood Watch Australasia launched its first ever national awareness week on Tuesday in a bid to boost community awareness and involvement in the program.
The Leeton group has jumped on board the idea and hoped to build further interest in what it is hoping to achieve in the shire.
Leeton Neighbourhood Watch chairman Mark Norvall said the community was partially aware of the organisation.
“I think some people are, but some maybe not so much, which is why we decided to jump on board with this,” he said.
“There are those out there that think we go out, ‘protect the streets’ and arrest people. That’s simply not the case in this modern age.
“It’s all about being out there and having a presence, but also creating important links with the community and the police.
“That’s probably been one of our biggest achievements to date.
“There’s certainly more communication with the police and we’re able to pass on any concerns and issues to them.
“That has been working quite well.”
The committee will likely host an event as part of the Leeton Harley and Bike Muster later this month to further enhance its profile.
Mr Norvall said since the group was formed in January, the amount of calls to Crime Stoppers from Leeton shire residents had increased.
“I think the community is more aware of that number and that they have every right to use it,” he said.
“The other success has been with the ‘dob in a dealer’ campaign (with the Griffith Local Area Command).”
Mr Norvall said there was a long way to go in terms of bringing crime rates down in Leeton.
“Crime statistics are a funny thing,” he said. “They can go up and down all of the time.
“At the moment I think the biggest problem in our shire is domestic violence.
“That’s something we will certainly be focusing on and looking at.”
The committee meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the Leeton library at 7pm.