On a recent visit to Papunya with CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Australasia, Ingrid Stonhill, an issue which could potentially compromise the safety of those who lived in the community became apparent.
Constable Shane Blanchard, Community Engagement Police Officer
The current house numbering used widely across the NT is very hard to see during the day and almost impossible to see at night.
At this time, the local clinic had a complete turnover of staff and Police Station was staffed by first time relievers to Papunya, all of whom rely on visually locating the correct houses in emergencies.
When every second counts;
I asked why we don’t have luminescent white lot numbers on a black background. The numbering would be easily identifiable during daylight hours and extremely identifiable by night ensuring the right house is located quickly. Along with Neighbourhood Watch Australasia, the new project was put into action.
We first approached the Heads of Papunya Community presenting the idea to them which was unanimously supported. Next visit was to the local Remote Jobs in Community Projects (RJCP) Office to see if we could make this a ‘local community project’ utilising local resources and manpower. RJCP agreed to provide the paint, brushes and also the manpower required to complete the project.
The Director of NT Housing Alice Springs, Graeme Eatts was also approached and embraced the idea giving us permission to proceed. He also contracted NT Corrections Alice Springs to fabricate zinc backing plates for the numbering to be painted onto and supplied the fastenings to fix these to the houses once completed. After some experimentation with different types of paint, we decided on using a plain white paint that we could add glass beading to, the same beading that is used in road marking.
The result is fantastic!
The numbering looks great and the results are far better than we could have hoped for. Due to the success of this project, NT Housing have indicated they are now looking at introducing the numbering to other communities as part of their regular upgrading and maintenance of housing.
A big ‘Thank You’ to, Neighbourhood Watch Australasia, Papunya RJCP, NT Housing, NT Corrections and Papunya Community for helping to make this a successful project and for working together with Police to keep people safe in Papunya.