Former Tweed cop takes off with new business
FROM catching criminals to capturing the region's spectacular scenery, this former senior policeman has taken to the skies to find a new view of the Tweed.
Following his retirement from New South Wales Police last September, where he rose to the position of crime co-ordinator at Tweed Byron LAC, Stuart Crawford has headed off in a new direction - up.
"I'm certainly finding a new lease on life," Mr Crawford said.
"When I had an injured hand and I was off work, my wife was doing a bootcamp at Palm Beach so I was running around there taking photos with the iPhone."
Realising he was quite a natural at photographing nature, Mr Crawford upgraded to a camera before receiving a drone this past Christmas from Santa.
"It's taking my photography to a new height," Mr Crawford said.
"I'm looking to get into real estate and take photographs of homes.
"You've got to try and find something new all the time. You look at what you've done, you try to do it better and you try to take it from a different perspective, try to take it in a different light."
While he's now making a name for himself among the photographic community, as well as continuing to be an active member in the Twin Towns Triathlon Club, Mr Crawford had an interesting career in the Tweed police.
"I transferred here as a crime prevention officer," Mr Crawford said.
"There was a vacant position so that's when I was on the chamber of commerce, the neighbourhood watch, dealing with council and going to all to the community meetings and generally putting out the fires in the community. I was giving a reason as to why the police did and didn't do things. I was also doing the finger printing and DNA samples."
Then about eight years ago, Mr Crawford was promoted to crime and prevention co-ordinator.
"That was a lot of HR and looking after the Aboriginal liaison, the crime scenes, domestic violence, youth as well as looking into any Crime Stoppers reports that came in," he said.
During his time as crime and prevention co-ordinator, Mr Crawford helped the Tweed station break the barrier with the community through the use of social media.
"We were one of three pilot stations in the state to kick off Facebook," he said.
"It was fairly new to a lot of people so we had to try and push to get it out there. It worked well."
Mr Crawford said social media was a useful tool for the police to better interact with their community.
"People want to hear police stories before they want to hear any other stories," he said.
"It was a fantastic tool for us to get information out. Where we are in Tweed Heads, we have the Sydney papers, the Brisbane papers, the Gold Coast paper and (the Tweed) papers.
"To try to get any information out to people was very difficult to break into mainstream media. Facebook gave us a medium that we could communicate with people directly in our immediate area in a timely manner."
These days, Mr Crawford uses social media to promote his new business and showcase his landscape photos of the Tweed.
"I'm looking at it from a different perspective now," he said.
For more information about Mr Crawford's business, contact:
www.stuart-photography.com.au/ or search Stu Crawford Photography on Facebook.