Wyndham still safe, councillors say

Peter Gibbons and Michele Wharrie. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

Wyndham is a safe place to live … that’s the message that two councillors are trying to get across to residents.

Councillors Peter Gibbons and Michele Wharrie chair and deputy chair the council’s community safety roundtable. The group comprises the two councillors, who are former police officers, and representatives of Victoria Police, CFA, SES, Ambulance Victoria and other agencies, who have been meeting over the past four years.

Reflecting on reports of increased aggravated burglaries and car-jackings in Wyndham, Cr Wharrie said there were contributing factors.

“Most offenders are adolescents. There are many contributing factors regarding their engagement in these crimes, including drug- and risk-taking, enticement of financial gain, lack of parental skills and/or supervision, and homelessness.”

Cr Wharrie also criticised candidates contesting the coming council elections, who were holding protests to lobby for action on crime and safety.

“The sole purpose of this behaviour has been for political gain only,” she said. “These candidates are not only inciting fear in our community, they’re also displaying a complete disregard for the psychological trauma that victims of crime are experiencing.”

Cr Gibbons said residents could do many things to reduce the chance of becoming a victim.

“Make sure your house is secure and doors and entry points are locked. Police have also encouraged people to exercise caution by locking their car doors while they’re out and about and being aware of their surroundings.”

For advice: www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp? Document_ID=9539 and www.helpyourself.vic.gov.au/