Country towns, smaller communities and, as some call them, hamlets, have the distinct advantage of knowing most or many people within the communities.
I have been in the Hume Local Area Command for just over four years and in that time I have seen some of these towns becoming increasingly busy and more people settling or passing through.
Most of our towns and hamlets are become bigger themselves. With this, they run the risk of losing this small-town advantage and becoming complacent. Sadly, the days are gone where you can leave your house open whilst you walk down to the shops. So I would like to encourage everyone to consider their personal security. Please take care of your house, cars and belongings. We all need to tighten up around the home and when we are out and about.
Simple steps need to be taken to prevent your house being broken into, people stealing property from your cars or having your personal details stolen and used to commit frauds. Always lock your doors, even when in the house. Do not leave valuables in your car, and lock your car, even if it is in your driveway. If your car is locked and there is nothing obvious inside your vehicle, it is unlikely that your car will be broken into.
People in smaller communities are very trusting, and this is important and part of what makes living in the country refreshing and rewarding. Trust people but do so wisely. We are seeing an increase nationwide in cybercrime and these thieves do not simply target big cities. They do not work on borders or geography. You are just as susceptible to computer fraud or phone scams as anyone.
I spoke recently about the community being the eyes and ears of the police. This is never more true than for smaller communities. This is your advantage. Many of you have an extensive knowledge of their communities, so assist your local police in tapping into this. Together we can make a difference, but everyone needs to do their part.