Neighbourhood crime crackdown

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Image courtesy: Nat King Photography

Western suburbs community organisation Community Against Crime (CAC), has developed a program designed to help reduce crime.

The program is an active network which sets out to communicate with residents about local crime related issues, exchanging information and working proactively with police.

In the fight against crime, this idea is an advancement on the traditional “Neighbourhood Watch” concept which has incorporated the use of CCTV and Smartphone technology.

“Help App” is a feature of CAC which uses the Global Positioning System (GPS). During a time of duress, the app systematically sends a 30 second video from your mobile phone to a monitoring station, this provides details of your current location and the monitoring station will attempt to contact authorities in your area to provide assistance.

CAC actively promotes the use of in-car camera systems as well as their purpose built “Hoon Cam Car”. This car is freely available to any community group, organisation or entire street provided the majority of neighbours are fully supportive.

For some time now the organisation has been interested in assisting Diggers Rest residents to establish a CAC network. It’s expected that a representative from CAC will attend the community safety meeting on September 16, 2016.

For additional information, checkout the following link:
http://www.communityagainstcrime.org.au

Free snake removal program, renewed

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Image courtesy: SnakeCatchers.com

At the Ordinary Meeting of Council held last night, Melton City Council voted to extend the trial Snake Removal Program for a further 12 months.

The trial was considered effective and 25% of call-outs resulted in the removal and relocation of a snake.

In most cases, snakes were removed from within the areas of Burnside, Caroline Springs, Hillside and Ravenhall.

Councils decision to extend the trial will enable the program to be accessible over the coming warmer months which are traditionally notorious for snake activity as snakes come out of hibernation.

Although the weather conditions have been cold, some snake sightings close to Diggers Rest have already been reported.

Access to the free removal program is subject to conditions and may not be available to residents living on rural or semi-rural properties. It’s understood that industrial properties are not included in the program.

Residents should be mindful of the types of landscaping and vegetation which typically attract snakes. Use the following link to download a fact sheet produced by Zoos Victoria, entitled “Snakes around the home”
http://www.diggersrest.com/files/pdf/2006/snakes-around-the-home.pdf

Requests for a snake catcher by residents will only be responded to if the snake is clearly visible and the property owner provides authorisation to remove the snake.

For more information, or to report a snake, call Council on 9747 7200.

Residents seek local Police talks

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In light of the number of recent crime related issues in Diggers Rest, Melton Police Inspector Kathryn Rudkins will be visiting our town to discuss a Neighbourhood Watch Program and learn about other matters concerning residents.

The session has been organised at the request of the Neighbours Network and the topics will include, rights of home owners subject to home invasions, backyard exposure in undeveloped open areas and the rights of perpetrators.

This is the second time in just a few months that Melton Police have engaged with residents in Diggers Rest to discuss local crime related issues.

The discussion session will be held at the Diggers Rest Community Hall at 7:00pm, Friday September 16, 2016.

Call on youth to be heard

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Despite all good intentions, for some time now Melton City Council has not successfully delivered on youth engagement in Diggers Rest.

Unfortunately, many residents aged 12 to 25 are disenfranchised from Council based activities and programs. Most secondary school aged residents living in Diggers Rest attend school outside the Melton municipality. The township of Diggers Rest has no direct transport links to its municipal central business district.

Melton Youth Services offer a range of quality youth specific programs through the Melton Youth Centre, Barries Road, Melton and Taylors Hill Youth and Community Centre, Calder Park Drive, Taylors Hill.

Melton Youth Services are seeking feedback from young people to help shape services and programs to meet the needs of young people in our local community.

An online survey is currently available for young people aged 12 to 25 living within the Melton municipality. This is an ideal opportunity for young people to have a say about what services, programs and events they would like to see on offer.

Use the following link to participate in the survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COMYS

It’s understood the survey will be active until September 6, 2016.

Flying high, that’s our Lydia

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Tonight, a number of Diggers Rest residents attended a special screening of the feature documentary “The will to fly”.

Melton City Council organised the event which took place at Reading Cinemas, Woodgrove Shopping Centre in Melton.

Following the movie, Australian Olympic freestyle skier and gold medalist, Lydia Lassila took questions from cinema patrons.

The full feature presentation provides an astonishing background into the childhood dreams of one very determined Olympic athlete.

Her competitive nature and will to succeed is sure to inspire others to achieve great things.

Follow Lydia via her website:
http://lydialassila.com.au/

New Captain for Diggers Rest CFA

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The Diggers Rest Fire Brigade has recently appointed a new Captain to replace outgoing captain of 7 years, Luke Hynes.

Tim Welshe officially took on the Captaincy role on July 1, 2016. Tim has been part of the Diggers Rest team since 2002, after joining the CFA in March 1997 at Caroline Springs/Sydenham.

Tim’s love of the fire service began at the age of 14 after his family purchased an old fire truck to restore. His passion for restoring vintage fire vehicles and accessories continues, primarily specialising in aviation fire fighting equipment and memorabilia.

Tim admits that he has “big shoes to fill” at Diggers Rest following in the footsteps of previous Captains, Luke Hynes and Robin Bootle.

We wish Tim well in his new role and take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Captain Luke Hynes.

Network builds community spirit

Neighbours Network is a group of neighbours that meet on a monthly basis to help everyone feel connected, safe and supported.

Neighbours Network builds community spirit and formulates strategies to encourage wider participation in building safe and confident community.

Neighbours Network has been instrumental in suggesting, and then putting in place many community events such as Halloween Walking Bus, Easter Parade and more . It has also organised  relevant information sessions and talks  on Will Making, Emergency Readiness and more with Govt and non Govt bodies such as Vic Police that the wider Diggers Rest Community could be a part of and benefit from.

Neighbours Network welcomes the rich diversity of Diggers Rest and supports community to develop its own identity, create character and build upon the increasing sense of local pride and participation.

Neighbours Network is welcoming more members, if you wish to be a member and become a voice for Diggers Rest please email Inderdeep on Inderdeept@melton.vic.gov.au or call 0439 327 716

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Stay cyber safe

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Cyber attack in our local area is becoming wide spread and more frequent, especially against business.

Recently, our website was compromised by hackers looking to extract data relating to residents living in Diggers Rest. Fortunately, we do not store sensitive information online.

However, as a result some of our hosted domains remain inactive. It’s important when using the internet that you refrain from using the “unsubscribe” link provided in emails. This link can easily be redirected to malicious spyware or malware.

Always protect your “date of birth”. In Australia, this is your passport to many services and utilities and acts as a personal identifier. It’s rather nice to get a friendly facebook birthday greeting. However, your birth date could provide an ideal opportunity to become a victim of cyber crime.

To learn more about staying smart online visit the following link:
http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/

Crime stats up for Diggers Rest

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Despite the cold weather, a number of residents attended the presentation by Acting Inspector, Peter Langdon from Victoria Police last night.

The session proved very informative with the inspector taking a series of questions from community members. According to the Crime Statistics Agency website, the number of offences for the 3427 postcode has surged from 124 in 2012 to 267 to March 2016, an overall increase of about 115%.

Explore crime by location – click here

The majority of offences involve property and deception offences. Drug related offences still remain one of the lowest for the area.

The Inspector urged residents to call “000” (tripple zero) and report any crime related issues. These include, hooning, suspicious behavior and damage to property.

Cyber crime and scams were also up for discussion. The Inspector made mention of the Australian Cyber Crime Online Reporting Network and he suggested reporting any suspicious online activity to them. This is an Australian Government initiative and can be found via the following link: https://www.acorn.gov.au/

Melton Leader shutdown

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Wafer thin editions, a reduction in real estate content and the decision to withdraw household deliveries to Diggers Rest were all signs that our local Melton Leader may be coming to an end.

Leader Community News have announced that after 17 years “this newspaper will be no more”.

The news group plan to focus on publications which provide greater potential for future commercial success and audience growth.

During its lifetime, the local Melton Leader has been an important and reliable publication for the Melton municipality, especially in Diggers Rest.

DiggersRest.com is sincerely grateful for the support and dedication with local news stories and issues concerning our community.

This support would not have been possible without the genuine commitment of the editor, Paige Ricci and news journalist Ami Humpage.

The final edition is expected to be available on June 27, 2016.