Keeping Neighbourhoods Safe | Constituency Question

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:52): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Crime Prevention, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice and Minister for Victim Support, the Honourable Natalie Hutchins. My question relates to the minister’s portfolio responsibilities for crime prevention.

The Victorian budget has added $2.85 million for Crime Stoppers and a $1.425 million boost to Neighbourhood Watch in order to help keep the community safe. The proposed funding will significantly support these organisations with their work in trying to stop crime before it is committed. The organisations will be able to provide further assistance with reporting, spreading awareness and starting community campaigns.

My question to the minister is: can the minister provide me with an update on how this initiative will help safeguard the residents of the Western Metropolitan Region?

Victorians have been experiencing very challenging times due to the pandemic crisis. Through this funding Crime Stoppers will assist with preventing crime and Neighbourhood Watch will help keep our neighbourhoods safe and reduce further stress in people’s minds.

Reply:

Crime Stoppers Victoria and Neighbourhood Watch are two of government’s longest running crime prevention partners and help address the causes of crime. The funding provided to these organisations in the 2021‐22 State Budget allows government to continue working collaboratively with these trusted organisations to leverage their strong community networks.

Neighbourhood Watch is a community‐based prevention program that aims to improve the quality of life within a neighbourhood by minimising preventable crime and promoting closer community ties. It has active groups in the Western Metropolitan Region, particularly in Wyndham, that undertake a range of local crime prevention activities.

In 2020‐21 Neighbourhood Watch Victoria delivered several key crime prevention initiatives, such as online campaigns to address residential burglary and small business crime prevention, a motor vehicle theft research project with Monash University, and the launch of a rebranded e‐learning platform for children at the commencement of the 2021 school year.

Crime Stoppers Victoria is a not‐for‐profit organisation that works closely with the Victorian community and Victoria Police to provide valuable information to help solve crime, and develops and delivers crime detection, prevention and education campaigns throughout Victoria.

In 2020‐21, Crime Stoppers Victoria delivered a variety of campaigns on ‘International student safety’, ‘Illicit tobacco trade,’ ‘Cyber crime’, ‘Farm Crime’ and ‘Motor Vehicle Theft’.

Both organisations are partners in projects run through the Government’s Building Safer Communities Program.

There will be further opportunities to work with both organisations to support implementation of initiatives under the recently announced Crime Prevention Strategy in the Western Metropolitan Region and across Victoria.