Commander's Desk with Acting Commander Chad Gillies: Small communities need to take care

When it comes to fighting crime and maintaining a safe community, most towns in the Hume Local Area Command have some advantages.

Country towns, smaller communities and, as some call them, hamlets have the distinct advantage of knowing most or many people within the communities.

I have been in this LAC for just over four years and in that time I have seen some of these towns becoming increasingly busy and more people settling or passing through. This is a reality of families and businesses slowly moving from the higher costs of living and doing business in large regional hubs and cities.

A/Commander Chad Gillies

A/Commander Chad Gillies

Most of our towns and hamlets are become bigger themselves. With this, they run the risk of losing this small-town advantage and becoming complacent. Sadly, the days are gone where you can leave your house open whilst you walk down to the shops. So I would like to encourage everyone to consider two issues.  

Firstly, personal security. Please take care of your house, cars and belongings. We all need to tighten up around the home and when we are out and about. Simple steps need to be taken to prevent your house being broken into, people stealing property from your cars or having your personal details stolen and used to commit frauds. Always lock your doors, even when in the house. Do not leave valuables in your car, and lock your car, even if it is in your driveway. Stealing from motor vehicles occurs in spates within our command, but almost all of the cars targeted by these opportunistic thieves only enter vehicles that are not secured. If your car is locked and there is nothing obvious inside your vehicle, it is unlikely that your car will be broken into. People in smaller communities are very trusting, and this is important and part of what makes living in the country refreshing and rewarding. Trust people but do so wisely. We are seeing an increase nationwide in cybercrime and these thieves do not simply target big cities. They do not work on borders or geography. You are just as susceptible to computer fraud or phone scams as anyone.  

The second issue is taking an active interest in maintaining safety within our communities. I spoke recently about the community being the eyes and ears of the police. This is never more true than everyone living in smaller communities. This is your advantage. Many within the community have an extensive knowledge and understanding of their communities, so I ask that you assist your local police in tapping into this. You can do this by calling your local police if something does not seem 'quite right'. This may be about drug activity, it may be about concerns on behalf of local residents for traffic issues or it could be about anything that you believe the local police need to know to improve safety and therefore the health and well-being of all residents and business owners. Together we can make a difference, but everyone needs to do their part.

Until next time, stay safe.