The ties that bind across the Tasman have been strengthened after a neighbourly get-together in Wellington.
The board of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) crossed the ditch to meet their counterparts from Neighbourhood Support New Zealand (NSNZ).
During the meeting at Police National Headquarters (PNHQ) – where NSNZ has its national office - National Prevention Manager Superintendent Eric Tibbott officially signed on as New Zealand Police’s representative on the NHWA board.
NHWA oversees all Neighbourhood Watch programs in Australia and New Zealand’s Neighbourhood Support programme.
Key areas of interest include resilience against crime, partnership between police and communities and safety in the home and community. Current NHWA projects include a ‘remote and vulnerable communities’ programme.
Despite their common ground and strong historical links – for example, Ingrid Stonhill, CEO of NHWA, was the inaugural NSNZ National Manager - engagement between the organisations has fallen in recent years.
“This meeting was a great opportunity to reconnect and learn from each other,” says Eric. “We discussed key projects and what was working to really engage with our communities.”
Assistant Commissioner Bill Searle presented to the board on New Zealand Police’s recently refreshed Prevention First model.
“Board members enjoyed hearing about the six drivers of demand and how we are effectively employing police resources to prevent crime and promote public safety,” says Eric. “They echoed the messages that prevention is at the heart of everything we do.”
The NHWA website will now include a link to NSNZ and acknowledge New Zealand Police as a partner. The board is also considering running joint community training days.