Frustrated locals have taken the fight against Wagga’s crime spree into their own hands.
A string of stolen and torched vehicles, ransacked cars, vandalism and attempted break and enters has prompted residents to call for a community meeting.
Locals are encouraged to assist police tackle the spike in crime.
Residents hamstrung by the crime-riddled suburbs of Ashmont and Glenfield Park met on Monday to discuss an information forum that will provide security advice, while reinforcing the importance of keeping an eye on your neighbours.
Wagga Neighbourhood Watch - a Facebook page with 4107 members - is leading the community meeting, which is likely to take place in the coming months.
Fed-up locals are calling for a crackdown through increased police presence, the closure of alleyways, the installation of CCTV and heightened community awareness.
Ashmont’s Nelly Mickelsen has had her mail box, water meter, windows and phone line destroyed.
“With all the current crime lately … I can see someone getting really hurt,” she said.
“We, the people of Wagga, need more.
“We need Wagga back to the peaceful place my Mum once told me about.”
Wagga crime prevention officer Senior Constable Peter Narouz said police relied heavily on the community to combat crime.
He believed crime awareness was on the rise under the growth of social media, with NSW police launching its online presence in 2011.
Senior Constable Narouz urged residents to report all suspicious activity to police, while acknowledging the closure of alleyways and CCTV installation as effective deterrents.
He encouraged locals to install personal security alarms, record serial numbers, keep electronic records of valuables and lock vehicles.
CRACKING down on a spike in crime is at the crux of a proposed community forum.
Frustrated residents hamstrung by the crime spree across Glenfield Park, Ashmont and Tolland met on Monday to discuss plans for an information session that promotes security measures and neighbourhood watch.
It follows a string of stolen and torched vehicles, ransacked cars and attempted break and enters.
A ute was completely destroyed by fire in Ashmont early Monday morning, while a stolen car hit speeds of 140km/h and later found on fire in Ashmont at the weekend.
Twelve cars were also ransacked in just two nights last week.
Wagga Neighbourhood Watch called an informal meeting on Monday to kick-start plans for a forum that tackles the crime spree.
The Facebook page allows its 4107 members to make each other aware of what is happening around town, reporting suspicious behaviour.
While the group discourages vigilante attacks, the administration team are calling for co-operation from the public to help police counter rising crime.
Break and enters in Wagga have risen by 11.8 per, from 458 incidents in 2010 to 720 last year, according to NSW Crime Statistics.
Stealing from motor vehicles has increased from 516 reported cases in 2013 to 772 in 2014.
Wagga Neighbourhood Watch administration head Wayne Deaner is leading the charge on the meeting.
He cited home safety, security tips and products, creating property lists and recording serial numbers, and reporting any suspicious behaviour as the group's core values.
"Our whole aim is to help police,” he said.
"It's to make (people) more security conscious and to look out for your neighbours.”
Wagga Neighbourhood Watch administration officer Nicole Eggleton said the most effective solution to combat crime was to work closely with police.
"If we're all eyes, it's going to work better," she said.
"If people know we're watching, it's going to deter them."
Miss Eggleton suggested a second police station could help alleviate the problem because its position would mean a quicker response time.
She also called for the closure of alleyways and the installation of CCTV.
The proposed community meeting will allow locals to learn more about security options like camera, lights and locks.
For more information on the proposed meeting, contact Wagga Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page.
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