Neighbourhood policing

Tony Penna

Victoria Police has launched a new policing initiative, surprisingly called “neighbourhood policing”.

I can’t help but think that maybe they may have felt they had somewhat dropped the ball on our neighbourhoods. VicPol has said it’s gone “back to basics” as part of a new grassroots approach to tackle local crime.

Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) frequently meets with our local station commander Senior Sergeant Alex O’Toole for the latest on what is happening in our neighbourhood and to pass our community feedback on. Alex has always been keen to receive our insights on our local community.

If you weren’t aware, Southbank does have its own police station located on Moray St. This station was another outcome of years of lobbying by SRA for a local police presence. Prior to this our “local” station was on St Kilda Rd – some distance from Southbank.

SRA is a member of the Southbank Safety and Security Committee which meets quarterly. In fact, our vice president, Dan O’Keeffe OAM, is the secretary of this forum.

There is a new Facebook page where you can get the latest details of crime across Melbourne. Take a look and maybe even follow the page: facebook.com/eyewatchmelbourne

Statistically, in the most part, crime in Southbank is concentrated around the Crown entertainment precinct. Crime affecting the residential areas of our neighbourhood is mainly theft from motor vehicles. It is a good reminder that even though we feel our cars are safe in our undercover car parks, thieves will still enter and engage in opportunistic crime.

Therefore, it is not wise to leave your vehicle unlocked, visible valuables or bags inside. Bags create curiosity with what could be inside and will often be subject to undesirable attention. These are simple initiatives, but as Snr Sgt O’Toole frequently informs us, many residents don’t heed these warnings and are in her station too regularly needing to report theft.

If you have any safety or security concerns within our neighbourhood we would love to hear from you.

Our annual general meeting (AGM) will be held in the coming months.

Once again, we are looking for members from our community to join our committee. You don’t need any specific skills, but you will no doubt find the experience rewarding – it can even look good on your CV! You will certainly make some new local friends.  •

If you would like to know more, please send us a quick email to [email protected]

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