New Aberglasslyn/Rutherford Neighbourhood Watch group has taken off with 6500 followers online

Kel Boak.
Kel Boak.

The resurrected Rutherford/Aberglasslyn Neighbourhood Watch Group has received overwhelming support with 6500 followers on its newly formed Facebook site.

The group held its second meeting this week and while only attracting a gathering of 30 people, chairman Henry Meskauskas said he is thrilled with the response online.

Huge residential growth in the city’s west, spiraling crime and inadequate police have pushed western suburbs residents to the brink of waging their own war on criminals.

Hunter Area Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator Bill Hackney and West Ward councillor Henry Meskauskas joined forces earlier this year to resurrect a Neighbourhood Watch program and organise a public forum to gauge community interest. The response was overwhelming.

At the group’s second meeting this week a committee was formed and members addressed by Maitland police officer Kel Boak on the latest crime statistics.

“We are working on newsletters which we will hand out at shopping centres,” Cr Meskauskas said. “Those newsletters contain minutes from our meeting, crime statistics and tips on how to keep our neighbourhood safe. I can only see this group going from strength to strength. The response has been magnificent which doesn’t surprise me.”

Cr Meskauskas said graffiti, malicious damage, car theft and stealing were the stand out crimes in the west. “The figures are going down though and now the new group is formed I can see them going down ever further,” he said.

The group’s next meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 18 at Club Maitland City from 7pm.

This story New western watch group’s 6500 followers first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.