ACT Neighbourhood Watch has joined with ACT Policing and Legal Aid ACT in a program of community engagements throughout 2021. One region will be targeted each month throughout the year, with a stall set up at a regional shopping centre where members of the public can discuss crime prevention, community safety issues and access to legal aid.
With the cancellation of all major engagement activities last year due to COVID restrictions, and with many already cancelled again this year, ACT NHW President, Laurie Blackall, sees these smaller, targeted activities as vital in maintaining a connection with the communities we support and to encourage members of the public to become involved in making their communities safer and more secure.
Mr Blackall attended the first community engagement session at Southlands Shopping Centre, Mawson on 28 January. Despite the cool and wet conditions, a steady flow of local residents were keen to discuss a wide range of security and safety issues and to learn how they could become involved in reducing crime in their neighbourhoods. While the initial target audience for these sessions was older people, with a focus on elder abuse awareness and scams (as these two crime trends are quite significant in our older community), the sessions attracted people from across all sectors of the community and with a wide range of issues to be raised.