Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch Group driving down crime

KEEPING WATCH: Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch members Chris Binge, Madison Smith and Lloyd Hippi on one of the nightly patrols.

KEEPING WATCH: Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch members Chris Binge, Madison Smith and Lloyd Hippi on one of the nightly patrols.

The Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch group has been conducting nightly street patrols for seven weeks now and there’s no sign of them stopping anytime soon.

Coordinator Chris Binge said the past seven weeks have been hugely successful, with the men noticing a reduction in anti-social behaviour over this time.

“Overall it’s been going really well,” he said.

“Things have lessened. From an anti-social behaviour point of view, you can see some drops in certain areas, for example the motorbikes seem to have dropped off; police are doing a great job in finding bikes or confiscating bikes that are stolen or a nuisance.

“We have received comments from all sectors of the community in regard to how peaceful it’s been in the community recently, particularly in the last three or four weeks.”

Throughout the seven weeks, the Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch group has identified and reported various crimes that they’ve witnessed, as well as helped to deter some crime from happening in the first place.

The men have also successfully identified some of the people involved in break and enters, drugs, illegal motorbike use, and other forms of anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve identified some suspicious behaviour from individuals that’s been a concern,” Mr Binge said.

“Even when we’re out and about in the early hours, we’ve seen some suspicious people that may have been looking to commit crime and we’ve made ourselves noticeable which has deterred some of the crime.

“We’re not saying we’ve stopped it but we’ve been a deterrent to crime happening.

“We’re also pulling up and talking to people and making people aware of what we’re doing.

“It’s about creating safety out in the community.”

It seems that many people are beginning to feel safer, with the Neighbourhood Watch group receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community.

The group even won the Moree Thumbs Up Thumbs Down customer service recognition award for May. 

With the nightly patrols and rostering now down pat, the men plan to move on to the next stage of the Neighbourhood Watch program, which involves educating the community about being more safety aware within their own home and neighbourhood.

“If everyone in the street is Neighbourhood Watch aware, there’s less of a chance of that petty crime or break and enters occurring,” Mr Binge said.

“We’ve got plans to have a stall at the next markets where we can do question and answer sessions with the community. Men that are doing the patrols can answer questions that people have or provide information about what we’re doing.

“We’re making sure we get as much info as we can together to take down there.”

The group also plan to meet with Moree Chamber of Commerce to educate businesses about better security.

They are also now looking for some more members to join the group and invite any men or women interested in creating a safer community to come along to their meetings, held at 5pm Mondays at Miyay Birray.

Mr Binge said it’s not a huge time commitment with most people only needing to do one shift (six hours maximum) a fortnight now.

“We’re always looking for more numbers – the more the better,” Mr Binge said. 

“It lessons the load on the people involved and allows us to do the job at a better level.

“The more people that are willing to put up their hands and be a part of this, the safer the community becomes, and the more cohesive we become.”

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