Keeping watch on crime

FAYE Wilson believes everyone deserves to be safe in their own home.

And this is exactly the reason she decided to start a Neighbourhood Watch group for the residents of the Tweed Broadwater Village, where she lives.

Mrs Wilson, who is co-ordinating the group with her husband Darrel, said a series of thefts had rocked the small Tweed Heads South commu-%nity, prompting her to take%action.

"There have been a few major thefts in here -- at least eight in the past 12 months," Mrs Wilson said.

"We are quite open here and we get lots of people walking through, so we want to teach people what they can do to improve their security and be more vigilant, and to obtain quality information that will help the police.

"There is a real mentality that we are out in the country here, so many people don't lock their doors and windows, thinking they will be safe."

Mrs Wilson is a retired sociologist, so she says she is used to studying communities and asking what could be done to improve their way of living.

She said many of the village's 200 residents were elderly and therefore needed assistance when it came to remembering important information.

"Because this is an older village, people may see things but not remember to write it down, so we have given them a 'mind-jogging' list of the information police can use. They need to know what quality information the police need."

Despite only being launched weeks ago, the group has already gained support from Tweed Heads police and other Neighbourhood Watch groups in the area.

The residents have also backed the initiative, and Mrs Wilson is keen to provide them with regular updates on how to improve their housing security.

"We have dropped brochures around the place and in people's letterboxes, and that has been well received," she said.

"We've already had a lot of people asking if they can come and get their property marked so it can be identified."

The group's meetings will start in the new year, and Mrs Wilson encouraged all residents to attend and listen to the information provided.

"You don't have to join or become a member or anything just come along and listen to what is being said and use it to your benefit," she said.

"Basically we want to help ourselves, the community and the police."

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