Roma crime wave sparks calls for Neighbourhood Watch
Roma residents fed up with what they believe is a spike in house and car break-ins and an increase in other criminal behaviour are pushing for a Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) community policing scheme.
Inspector Ray Vine from the Roma Patrol Group confirmed on Thursday, February 18 that local police and Maranoa Regional Council have organised a public meeting and would like to invite community members to discuss the proposed establishment of a local NHW program.
This follows after police reinforcements from the Maranoa's outlying towns were called to Roma to assist a crime spree which saw more than a dozen homes broken into in less than a week.
A woman residing at Powell St allegedly woke up in the middle of the night on January 14 and witnessed someone walking out her front door, while an elderly couple in their seventies disturbed intruders who allegedly attempted to force their way in at 2am.
Three boys have since been held accountable for the spate of break-ins during that week, however there has been more.
Only last week on February 11, three alleged offenders broke into a home on Gregory St and damaged a motorbike and ride on mower.
The following day, an unknown offender/s stole $2000 from a Howard St home.
Inspector Vine said NHW is both a philosophy and an approach to working together as a community to enhance community safety by encouraging communities to work together to improve the safety of their families and other people, who live, visit and do business in their neighbourhood.
NHW also encourages interaction and a shared sense of responsibility between individuals, neighbours and communities for preventing and reducing crime.
The official program is sanctioned by the Queensland Police Service but relies heavily on the community for its organisation.
More information about NHW can be located at the NHW Queensland blog https://www.nhwq.org/membership-information/
Further, NHW Queensland strategy for 2019-2021, can be found HERE.
The meeting will take place at the Maranoa Regional Council chambers (auditorium) on Wednesday, March 17 at 6.30pm.