Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Community engagement

I attended the second meeting today of the Burwood LAC/Canada Bay Council CSPC - that's Police talk for Community Safety Precinct Committee.  As far as acronyms go, that one is a mouthful.  They really need to introduce a vowel or two so that it can be pronounced as a word - think RIMPAC and CENTAG and GOSPLAN.

The idea of the CSPC is to bring together the Police, local councils, the local MP, businesses and "members of the community" - ie, me.  To date, I have been the only MOP (member of public) to attend, which is a bit disappointing for all concerned.  I'm sure there are plenty of people out there with concerns that they want to raise with the Police, but if they won't take the time to front up at these meetings, then their voices won't be heard.  No one dominates the meetings, everyone gets to have their say and business is transacted in a civilised and professional fashion.

I know that these meetings can be hijacked by single interest nutters, or those with an axe to grind, or those that have nothing better to do than attend public meetings and declaim at length on the problems of the world.  I got my point across at the first meeting, which was good, and all I had to do this morning was provide an update on how our sub-committee was going.  That took a few minutes, and then we moved on to discussing other problems in the Canada Bay area, such as muggings and breaking and entering.

The local media didn't attend this time, which is sad, but maybe there is not enough "juice" in these meetings for them.  They need a nice controversial story, and I don't think the CSPC is going to provide it for them.  Crime fighting and crime prevention is not about headline grabbing announcements and thinking that the latest management fad or bit of fancy technology is going to solve every problem.  It's often tedious, thorough, methodical and entirely unglamorous work using age-old methods and know-how.  It's also an ever shifting battle as new techniques are tried and fine tuned, or approaches are switched back and forth in order to keep the initiative.  

The next meeting will be held in mid October.

No comments: