CRIME in Coronet Bay has plummeted 45 per cent in the 2016-17 year, with help from a local Neighbourhood Watch group, the only one in Bass Coast and South Gippsland.

Offences totalled 71 in 2015-16 and recent Crime Statistics Agency data shows the number dropped to 45 in 2016-17.

The group formed in July 2016 and since then has set up eight signs in the town and held monthly meetings to discuss crime prevention and safety.

It’s a small group of regular visitors, including a dedicated committee, who are helping the town’s 791 people live in a safer community.

Chairperson Ivan Bradshaw said the drop in crime is fantastic news for the town.

“The visual presence more than anything has helped this, and we’re looking at more signs for letterboxes and signs to raise that awareness,” he said.

“Already we’ve got signs either end of Agar Road, two in Norsemens Road and two in Cutty Sark Road.”

The Coronet Bay General Store is selling raffle tickets for $1 each, to raise funds for the local Neighbourhood Watch group, to be drawn at the Coronet Bay Market on Monday, November 4.

The first prize is a $300 gift voucher donated by Elliston’s Mobile Services at 260 Soldiers Road, Bass, and other prizes include a solar mobile phone charger donated by Mitre 10, a garden bed donated by Liz Leahy and a 12-piece porcelain dinner set donated by Pauline Hiscock.

At a meeting last week, the committee and visitors discussed looking into grants to improve security and safety.

The local police are invited to each meeting. The group is always on the lookout for more volunteers to boost the presence of Neighbourhood Watch and ensuring they’re aware of crime in the local area.

To find out more, call Ivan Bradshaw on 5678 0663.