Neighbourhood Watch groups, including seven in Maitland, remain in limbo without public liability insurance and NSW Police can do little to help.
Australian Community Media reported last week how the groups ceased operating after they were left without insurance cover following a restructure of the Treasury Managed Fund which covered all NSW Police public liability insurance which filtered through to Neighbourhood Watch.
A police spokesperson said that as a government agency, the police force is covered for public liability by the Treasury Managed Fund (TMF). "When members of Neighbourhood Watch are working together with police during a police organised and run activity, they are covered, however, they are not covered if participating in a Neighbourhood Watch organised and run activity," the spokesperson said. They said Neighbourhood Watch groups were advised of this in April.
NSW NHW President Bill Hackney said a watch group may have coverage at any police nominated event. "And for this we are grateful. Unfortunately these events are few and far between. The weekly events that NHW groups do for crime prevention are our core business, not to mention that our popular monthly newsletters, delivered for 35 years, have stopped," he said.
"We have secured an urgent meeting in Sydney with the some police decision makers and we hope for positive outcomes. If not we will ask groups to contribute to a six-month policy," he said.