Is there still a role for Neighbourhood Watch in Clarence Park & Millswood? What about introducing it in Black Forest?
Neighbourhood Watch aims to reduce crime by encouraging the community to watch out for and report suspicious activity to the police or Crime Stoppers to deter potential criminals. The idea is to encourage communities to be alert to potential threats to the safety of you and your home. It promotes looking out for each other.
This is done by a group of volunteers working with a member of SAPOL. They coordinate letter box drops to provide important safety information to the community. This group of volunteers also organise events and information sessions that the community can attend.
Clarence Park & Millswood have had such a group. They were formed some 30 years ago.
We continued a conversation at a volunteer meeting this week that started late last year. The conversation was about whether it was time to disband the group.
Sadly, there are too few volunteers today and those who remain are ageing. They are tired and lack the energy to continue this valuable service. The current volunteer number is around a half dozen only.
This lack of volunteers can be seen in the absence of newsletters being delivered to your letterbox. Likewise with an absence of Facebook posts.
Staving off such a decision, we agreed this week to approach the State body for assistance on how we might regenerate the local Watch. I don’t know what help they can provide or whether we have the energy left for a recovery drive.
What I do know is this is perhaps the last hurrah. If no one is interested in not only joining this loyal band of volunteers but willing to lead and grow the group, it will disband as early as this year.
That said, the Clarence Park Ward of the City of Unley is a strong community.
So many of us know each other, whether those in our own street or further afield. As one of your representatives for the last 12 years on Council, I am privileged to see how close our community is.
The Clarence Park Community Centre is a model to be envied by other community centres. With its long list of activities, there is no question it brings the community together.
Beyond that, this little corner of the earth plays host to a plethora of sporting clubs. The Goodwood Saints Football Club and the Goodwood Roos Cricket Club reside at Goodwood Oval. So too Tennis SA has courts there and the Forestville Hockey Club and Unley United Soccer Club train there.
On the other side of the Seaford line, we have the Millswood Bowling Club, the Millswood Croquet Club and the Millswood Lawn Tennis Club. Down the road at Page Park, we find the social tennis group, the Fairmont Tennis Club, in residence.
Adding to this and immediately adjacent to our ward borders we find the Unley Swimming Club, operating out of the Unley Pool at Forestville Reserve. Around the corner and housed at the Showgrounds, is the Forestville Eagles Basketball Club.
I wonder where there would be such a plethora of organised community groups.
My observation at a residential level is there would not be many streets in the Clarence Park Ward where the residents don’t know each other.
So maybe we don’t need Neighbourhood Watch because we are already looking out for each other. What do you think?
Maybe we are doing a good enough job that we don’t need to formalise it. Mind you, without Neighbourhood Watch where are we going to get the information to help each of us protect our person and our property?
The Clarence Park Millswood Neighbourhood Watch would love to know your thoughts. I encourage you to make contact.
Good work everyone looking out for each other is the best way to keep each other safe
I guess these days the letter box drop is simply inefficient, labour intensive and more likely to be ignored. Getting people to sign up for email updates makes much more sense. That would mean that the group needed less person power.
Appraising people of the opportunity could be done via Council sending an email with a link to the Neighbourhood Watch so that it can collect email address of those who wish to be sent ‘alerts’ and news.