AN EXPANDING community and rise in crime has forced Epsom Neighbourhood Watch to form a new group in Huntly.
Epsom Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Les Riddoch said more than 2000 new homes had been built in the area and there was a need for a new group.
"There has been lots of development around the Huntly area, with nearly 2500 houses going up in the area," he said.
"That is why we want one.
"We are finding in Epsom there is just too many delivery points and we want help."
Mr Riddoch said Neighbourhood Watch was a community based crime prevention program.
He said it aimed to improve the quality of life within a neighbourhood by stopping preventable crime and promoting closer community ties.
Mr Riddoch said the program did not replace the role of police but was vital in ensuring community safety.
"Neighbourhood Watch is an alert to the neighbourhood on things that go on, whether it be vandalism or other crimes," he said.
"We try and have our neighbours look after each other, for example if we go out, we ask our neighbours to look over our property as a safety thing.
"We are not police guided but we are there if anybody has any problems.
They report it to us and we then report it to the police, or put them on the right track."
Mr Riddoch, who has lived in the area for about six years, said vandalism and excessive noise were among some of growing crimes in the area.
"It's lots of things - general living situations," he said.
"Things that happen in every neighbourhood that people need help."
Epsom Neighbourhood Watch will host its bimonthly meeting on February 6 from 7.30pm at the Epsom Primary School.
Mr Riddoch said the meeting would discuss the prospect of forming a new group in Huntly.
He said the Bendigo region Neighbourhood Watch police coordinator Leading Senior Constable Glenn Mallard would speak at the meeting.
Mr Riddoch encouraged Epsom and Huntly residents to attend the meeting to learn more about program.
For more information visit the Neighbourhood Watch website at www.nhw.com.au