CRIME: Shadow police minister Trevor Watts, South Burnett Councillor Kathy Duff, Murgon Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Brett Sander and Nanango member Deb Frecklington discuss after the meeting in Murgon on Monday, December 17.
CRIME: Shadow police minister Trevor Watts, South Burnett Councillor Kathy Duff, Murgon Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Brett Sander and Nanango member Deb Frecklington discuss after the meeting in Murgon on Monday, December 17. Jessica McGrath

Neighbourhood Watch looking for youth crime solutions

MURGON Neighbourhood Watch will be ramping up their activities to be more proactive in making the community safer next year.

Murgon coordinator Brett Sander said they plan to put together block and zone coordinators in the new year.

"Our idea is to have one person to keep an eye on a group of neighbours, about two streets to a block," he said.

"So that anything that is happening can be reported to them straight away."

This will allow the coordinators to have a report for police arriving at the incident, and everyone else in the area can be notified and get out of the way.

This comes after the community group's meeting with Nanango member Deb Frecklington, shadow police minister Trevor Watts and police officers on Monday December 17.

"It was a very successful meeting, a bit short, there was a lot more that could've been discussed," Mr Sander said.

The Neighbourhood Watch group shared their concerns about youth crime in the area.

"It's not just the elderly, there's children that don't feel safe in their own yards, because of the random stuff that goes on, it could happen at any time," he said.

They also called for tougher sentencing.

"I would like the judges or the magistrates to be a lot more firmer and the government to work with the magistrates to make the sentences for crime more applicable, harder," he said.

Mr Sander said crime had dropped in the Murgon area over the past few months.

"It's due to the hard work of the police" he said.

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Police minister Mark Ryan said funding for Neighbourhood Watch groups had been increased.

"The budget for Neighbourhood Watch Queensland was confirmed in the state budget and was increased compared to last year," he said.

South Burnett Regional Council deputy mayor Kathy Duff said they needed to look into some short, medium and long-term strategies to combat crime.

"It's not just about the policing strategies, it's about a whole community approach and government approach," she said.

"We're putting resources into the PCYC, schooling, all sorts of things and working with the parents and the community."

Cr Duff said the issue of resourcing at the Murgon watch house was discussed at the meeting.

"A lot of the resources are being tied up at the watch house and they should be out and about doing their policing," she said.

Long-term solutions they could look into include providing more job opportunities for the youth in Cherbourg, she said.

"That's the frustrating part, we've got all the youth in Cherbourg and a lot of it is about boredom, it's about not having anything to do," Cr Duff said.

South Burnett

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