Do you remember the last time you had a face-to-face chat with your neighbour; maybe you asked them to check your mail or take your wheelie bin out when you’re on holidays?
When Neighbourhood Watch started in the early 1970s, the national program encouraged people to get to know each other in the interest of keeping their communities safe. People would have a cup of tea with their neighbours and attend suburb meetings. But that doesn’t happen so much anymore.
Social media is now a big part of our lives in New Norfolk and in Neighbourhood Watch. We get information out using Facebook and our webpage. In other places neighbours keep each other informed by using WhatsApp. If there is suspicious behaviour or someone needs help they just send a message to the group.
In one community in Western Australia, an elderly gentleman had a stroke and his daughter had gone to Singapore. She sent a WhatsApp message from Singapore to the Neighbourhood Watch Group and immediately six people were at his house ready to help.
Findings of long-term research released in 2019 states that Neighbourhood Watch is associated with a 16% and 26% reduction in crime. Neighbourhood Watch is still strong — we just do things a bit differently these days.