Posted on Dec 05, 2017

Many of our older members of Hawthorn Rotary remember the days when Neighborhood Watch kicked off in the 1980’s.  As guest speaker Suzanne Dunlop recounted we had many overt displays of its presence with little placards attached to fence posts in each house, regular drops of one or two-page bulletins of happenings and security concerns in our street and widespread volunteer involvement at meetings.

It worked well and created an awareness which holds today especially for the older generation for monitoring threatening activities in our street and neighbor’s home.

Suzanne described how Neighborhood Watch has changed.  She noted that the number of volunteers had dropped, external funding sources reduced, the means by which knowledge of local crime statistics could be spread changed, and the street by street unit concept expanded to a regional one.  For instance, current social concerns re privacy and harassment perhaps contradicted “Safe house” displays.    Some revitalization was needed. 

Suzanne is now chair of the Boroondara wide unit and with her small team described how Neighborhood Watch is now working.    She echoed many of the points raised by a recent police guest speaker on simple home security measures (i.e. lock doors/windows and keep keys hidden) and the importance of simply being aware and reporting concerns to the police.  Suzanne told of the unit’s ongoing good relationship with local police.   Publicity campaigns at local festivals and pamphlet drops by volunteers are being pursued to remind Boroondara residents of the still active program and attract or alert younger generations to it.