Four new sergeants will hit the beat in Wyndham in the next six weeks and a further 23 new members will be deployed across the Werribee and Wyndham North police stations in the next eight months.

The increased personnel come as Wyndham police aim to give locals a voice in the fight against crime.

The department of justice is funding three anti-crime forums, to be held at different Wyndham locations before Christmas, which will allow residents to air their concerns and discuss local crime issues and policing priorities. 

Dates and locations for the forums will be announced later this week.

Wyndham Police Acting Inspector Peter Bitton said police would approach community, school and youth groups and ask them to nominate people who might be interested in attending.

“What we want to do is hear their perspectives on community safety, then to highlight what they see as the main issues in Wyndham, so then we can workshop some solutions,” he said.

“Do they feel safe? Are we meeting their expectations? Are the council meeting their expectations? What could be improved around Wyndham for their community safety?

“We deal with key community groups, and they all have their platform to have their say … but I don’t think we’ve got an opportunity for people at grass roots level, people who live and work here and are engaged in other community activities – I don’t think there’s a platform for them to talk.

“It’s a real opportunity for people to give us an insight into what’s going on in their local areas.”

Residents will also be able to take part in an online survey.

Wyndham is one of six Victorian municipalities selected for the Community Safety Networks project, which will be expanded to another six areas in July next year.

Acting Inspector Bitton said feedback from the forums would be used to create projects aimed at reducing crime and enhancing community safety.

He said the extra staff coming to Wyndham in the coming months would boost the work already done to create a highly visible police presence in the area.

“You’ll see more of us out on the road,” Acting Inspector Bitton said.

“We’re not coming up with new ideas, or new investigative groups, we’re going back to our core patrols – that’s where we want to put our members.”

For more information, go to www.engage.vic.gov.au/communitysafetynetworks.