New watch kickstarts

Attendees of the meeting for a new local Neighbourhood Watch. Picture: COREY EVERITT

By Corey Everitt

A new Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) initiative for Pakenham has kicked off with their first meeting reflecting a desire for more action and connectivity in the community to help prevent crime.

The meeting happened on the evening of Wednesday 7 February calling for all interested to gather and coalesce their interests in igniting a new Neighbourhood Watch group.

Approximately 40 people gathered at James Bathe Recreation Reserve to hear from NHW’s Manager, Administration and Members’ Service Nicoll Peschek.

Ms Peschek presented the core principles and history of NHW and what kind of activities and impact a local group can have in crime prevention.

The meeting was vibrant and active with many questions asked and enthusiasm to take action in the community.

A Victoria Police spokesperson attended the meeting, while Councillor Tammy Radford and President of Neighbourhood Watch Cardinia, David Farrelly also attended.

Pakenham resident and organiser of the event, Maqsood Ahmad felt vindicated by the turnout.

“I think it went very well, I was not expecting that much turn around, it was a great evening, a fantastic session,” he said.

“People want to come together and make Pakenham more safe.”

This group is formed by Pakenham locals who were inspired to take action after seeing the effects of crime on those they know and in the community in general.

“There was a lot of volunteer work behind the scenes,” Mr Ahmad said.

“I initiated this and brought along community members who have been impacted by crime in the past, there has been a lot of communication with Nicoll, with council and the police.”

Now with a successful start and more interest from residents to jump on board, they look to keep the momentum going and establish a formal group.

“A lot of valuable information, the police shared a lot as well, I learnt a lot of things and I’m sure all other attendees did as well,” Mr Ahmad said.

“We’ll be having a few meetings internally and form a group moving forward, we are exploring and keeping all opportunities open.”

If you are interested in getting involved you can inquire at