Rally against crime

The rally against crime. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 233837_01

By Alesha Capone

Wyndham residents concerned about crime in the municipality attended a rally in Tarneit on Saturday, with many pledging to help fund the installation of CCTV cameras at crime hotspots.

About 40 residents attended the rally which was organised by the Wyndham Safe Movement (WSM).

The WSM comprises residents and former councillor Intaj Khan.

Mr Khan said residents were particularly concerned about vehicle and knife crimes following a carjacking in Werribee last month and a stabbing at a Hoppers Crossing bottleshop on April 1.

Crime Statistics Agency data, released last month shows there were 18,284 criminal offences reported to Wyndham police during 2020, up from 16,761 offences in 2019.

Mr Khan said that while people in Wyndham were reporting crime, there seemed to be a trend of police either not being able to immediately attend the scene or follow-up after initial talks with victims.

“We know crime is increasing, we know police resources are getting less, what can we do?” Mr Khan said.

Mr Khan said the WSM committee hoped to install at least 50 CCTV cameras across Wyndham by the end of 2021, funded through private donations.

He has committed to funding 10 cameras himself, with rally attendees pledging funding for another 30 cameras.

He said the WSM committee would ask residents and traders to nominate sites for the cameras to be installed, such as outside houses and businesses.

Mr Khan said a committee of volunteers, including representatives from a local neighbourhood watch, would decide where the cameras would go.

A Truganina business owner spoke at the rally about how thieves broke into a shipping container at his company.

A Truganina resident – who had his car stolen by a man with a fake ID who posed as a potential buyer of the vehicle – said he felt that police “must have some strategies to catch the man” but that he was concerned by a lack of communication from officers.

Wyndham acting Inspector Steve Hayes said: “The local community can be assured that there is sufficient police resourcing in the Wyndham area.

“Wyndham police are extremely mobile in the community – we regularly conduct proactive patrols at populated areas including shopping centres and strips, parks and on our roads.

“Police are also working closely with the council and other partner agencies to further prevent crime and address any safety concerns.”