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Neighbourhood Watch Australasia’s Remote and Vulnerable Communities Project (RAVC) received a bronze award in the community-led category of the 2017 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA). 

The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.

“Neighbourhood Watch Australasia has produced a print based, highly visual, culturally relevant, large stand alone, flip chart education resource called Speak Up,  designed to educate people who don’t hold English as a first language, on how to seek help,” said Neighbourhood Watch Australasia’s inaugural Chief Executive Officer Ingrid Stonhill, who developed the program.

“The educational resource gives examples of what situations match which emergency service and how the call needs to be made.

“Speak Up, which has been implemented following broad community consultation, addresses the lack of understanding and confidence in reporting crime.  All too often we assume people know how to seek help.

“Educating people on how to ask for help also encourages reporting and ensures police are being made aware of community safety issues they might not otherwise have been alerted to,” said Mrs Stonhill.

Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) is the overarching organisation of all member Neighbourhood Watch programs, working collaboratively to offer higher calibre resources.

“To now have an Award Winning resource is a wonderful testament to the significant contribution we make to creating safe, connected and inclusive communities,” said NHWA President, Bernie Durkin.

These annual awards recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.

“The Neighbourhood Watch Australasia RAVC Project provides education and awareness resources to remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, encouraging local residents to report crime and seek assistance through emergency services,” said acting Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Nicole Rose PSM.

“By addressing the communication break down between local police, emergency services and community members, the visual Speak Up resource produced in simple English is working towards reducing both violent and property crime in these remote communities.”

All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and chaired by the acting AIC Director.

Northern Territory ACVPA Board representative, Superintendent Virginia Read said the Speak Up resources are an excellent tool to assist those needing emergency services to provide accurate information and improve response times.

“Northern Territory Police recognise the efforts of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia to improve personal safety of those who live in remote areas. The services we have in urban areas are often restricted and what we take for granted is not always the case when you live somewhere like Maningrida for example,” said Superintendent Read.
The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.

For information about the Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards visit www.aic.gov.au/acvpa

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