A public forum will be held next week to form a Rutherford/Aberglasslyn Neighbourhood Watch group

Cr Henry Meskauskas.

Cr Henry Meskauskas.

A public forum to discuss the formation of a Neighbourhood Watch group in the city’s west will be held next week.

Instigator and West Ward councillor Henry Meskauskas has organised the gathering for next Wednesday night (July 19) at Club Maitland City, starting at 7pm.

Cr Meskauskas said a meeting was held on Tuesday with key stakeholders and police, who have supported the plan for a watch group in the city’s growing western suburbs.

Cr Meskauskas said there has been strong support for a watch group after a story appeared in Fairfax Media last week.

“There have been over 100 people who have indicated their interest in joining,” Cr Meskauskas said.

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

Hunter Area Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator Bill Hackney and Cr Meskauskas joined forces to resurrect a Neighbourhood Watch program in the west and organise the public forum to gauge community interest.

Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison, who supports the launch of a new Neighbourhood Watch group, has been on a mission to obtain an additional 20 police officers for the Central Hunter Local Area Command.

She said local police have a huge workload with a high incidence of domestic violence and the state’s highest incidence of stolen motor vehicles.

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