Watching out for commuters’ safety

South Mitchell Neighbourhood Watch president Paul Lloyd, equipment manager Jack van der Ree and events co-ordinator Carol van der Ree with Mitchell Proactive Police Unit Senior Constable Heidi Twining at Wandong Station. ​

By Jackson Russell

South Mitchell Neighbourhood Watch is expanding its anti-theft licence plate screw program to include commuters at Wandong Railway Station on Friday, January 31.

The new system will see commuters sign up to have anti-theft screws installed on their vehicles throughout the week leading up to the event.

For an encouraged donation, commuters will receive a docket to place on their dashboard to indicate that screws are to be fitted on their car while they’re at work.

The system was previously trialled at Coles in Kilmore with some success.

If the success continues in Wandong, the program could expand to include every train station in the Mitchell Shire.

South Mitchell Neighbourhood Watch events co-ordinator Carol van der Ree said stolen plates could be used for all sorts of illegal activity.

“When the plates are taken off cars, they can be used for other crimes like speeding or fuel theft,” she said.

“Our aim is to get the preventable crime in the community to make people more aware of what they can do themselves to prevent crime.”

Police officers will also be in attendance to speak to commuters and answer any questions.

“We’ll be there to speak to commuters and just really encourage people to get their anti-theft screws fitted,” Mitchell Proactive Police Unit Senior Constable Heidi Twining said.

“It’s that extra layer of deterrent for criminals and the taking of number plates for vehicles.”

South Mitchell Neighbourhood Watch volunteers will be at Wandong Railway Station from 10am on January 31 and president Paul Lloyd said everyone was welcome.

“They don’t have to be a commuter, if they want to come on the day then we’ll change the screws for them and if they have got more than one vehicle, we can give them the screws to install themselves as well,” he said.

South Mitchell Neighbourhood Watch’s next Safe Plate Sausage Sizzle will be on Saturday, February 15 outside Coles in Wallan.