Traders fear break-ins, forum hears

By Casey Neill

Springvale traders are anxious about break-ins, a crime forum has heard.
Greater Dandenong Lightwood Ward councillors Sean O’Reilly, Loi Truong and Youhorn Chea hosted the Lightwood Ward Community Safety Forum at the former council chambers on Wednesday 28 June.
Also in attendance were Keysborough MP and Attorney-General Martin Pakula, other councillors, MPs Inga Peulich and Hong Lim and Greater Dandenong Local Area Commander Inspector Mark Langhorn.
Cr O’Reilly said about 10 members of the public attended.
“We had quite a few Springvale traders and they were talking about the number of burglaries, shop burglaries,” he said.
“One in particular … she was saying they had two break-ins.
“She said she was really anxious about another one happening.”
He said Springvale Asian Business Association’s (SABA) Daniel Cheng was there, as was Greater Dandenong Neighbourhood Watch president Dawn Vernon.
“I don’t think we had even one question around people’s safety in their homes, actually,” Cr O’Reilly said.
“It was more around the traders.
“We really had about five questions, six questions.”
Cr O’Reilly asked why there weren’t more multicultural and multilingual police officers in Springvale.
“There’s a huge recruitment going on in the police at the moment,” he said.
He also asked about the technology available to police and suggested it should be improved.
“There’s no database where the emergency services can share information,” he said.
“Police are still using paper. That was acknowledged, that the police should have iPads.”
Insp Langhorn said he understood that traders wanted to see more police.
“That’s one of my agendas, to try to increase the visibility of police and the access of traders to police with the resources I have,” he said.
“Today had people out on foot patrol as a response, meeting traders.
“Crime has gone down in Springvale with the March statistics and it’s continuing to track down.”