In December 2019, Rivergums Estate resident, Daniel stepped in and managed a Facebook page in response to criminal activity happening within their estate. The page was created to raise awareness of what was happening in their estate by sharing information. Daniel hoped to promote the Neighbourhood Watch philosophy of people looking out for each other and sharing information to Police to assist in deterring or minimising criminal activity in their community.
As the popularity of the page within the estate grew Daniel realised that people wanted to communicate about other things and not just suspicious or criminal activity. Residents began to share general information and ask questions which didn’t fit under the purpose of why the Neighbourhood Watch page was created.
Daniel then set up another Facebook page for Neighbourhood Friends for general chat, keeping the Neighbourhood Watch page just for sharing information of incidents, concerns and suspicious activity.
Following the success of the second page, Daniel went one stage further and helped manage the setup of a WhatsApp group for calls of assistance for residents. “We only use this app when someone needs assistance. Residents know that if this alert goes, then someone needs our help or somethings is happening within the community. Residents also know to call the Police and not to put themselves in harm’s way. It is the security of knowing that we are there that helps people feel safe.”
All three platforms are working extremely well within the Estate. Daniel said “If anything happens, we all get together and help share information like cctv footage etc to assist Police. We all work together to protect our community”.
As we have been able to connect over these platforms our community has become friendlier, with people waving at each other in the street, people stopping to chat in the street and there is a general community feel within the Estate.
“We love where we live and simply by connecting and communicating with each other, we are helping people feel safe and protected knowing their neighbours are close by” said Daniel.