Crime forum to re-engage police, public
WARWICK police are hoping to bring the community and the boys and girls in blue together with a crime forum to be held next month.
District crime prevention co-ordinator Wendy Tamblyn said she hoped the meeting would close the gap between officers and community members and encourage interaction between the groups.
Const Tamblyn said most law-abiding citizens would not have any contact with police, unless in an emergency, and she hoped this would change that.
"We are going to start having (the forums) two or three times a year so the police can have contact with the community and we can work on bringing down the barriers," she said.
Const Tamblyn said one focus of the forum was to encourage people to be proactive in reporting and preventing crime in the community.
"We want to be able to give the people of the community important information and tell them how important is if for people to report crimes - no matter how small they seem," she said.
Detective Ryan Harmer will be one of the law enforcement officers to address the the forum and will recount a real-life sting and arrest that resulted from public information.
He said a tip-off about "weird people" behaving strangely at a motel was enough to lead police on a manhunt that ended with Warwick officers nabbing jewellery thieves in Brisbane.
Const Tamblyn said such small irregularities as strange behaviour or a burn-out could be the key to nabbing criminals the police were already pursuing.
"My whole aim is to educate the Warwick community on how important they are to helping solve crimes and how vital the information they provide to us is," Const Tamblyn said.
Neighbourhood Watch groups were once an integral part of small communities, but Const Tamblyn said their decline had resulted in a need for a different approach to community involvement.
"People are more transient, busier and (Neighbourhood Watch) meetings take away from family time, so there are far fewer groups than there once was," she said.
"Times have changed and back then the concept of people meeting together was a normal behaviour.
"The concept here is still the same as it was then and we are just bringing the police and the community together at a familiar level."
Warwick's new Inspector Ben Marcus and officer-in-charge Stewart Day will also address those at the forum.
The Warwick crime forum will be held at King's Theatre on September 26 from 6pm.