5th Annual Jervis Bay ‘Off the Hook’ fishing competition

Senior Constable Scott Vandervalk offering some tips

This year marked the 5th Annual Jervis Bay ‘Off the Hook’ fishing competition, and it was a picture-perfect day.

The ‘Off the Hook’ initiative commenced in 2012 and aims to build and foster relationships between police and the community, with the Jervis Bay officers putting on a BBQ lunch and spending the afternoon fishing and mingling with families each November. The initiative has been a resounding success, and this year was no different.

Sergeant Stephen Szabo, Officer–in–Charge of Jervis Bay Police Station said it was a great opportunity for those police officers stationed at Jervis Bay to interact with the local kids and families, particularly members of the Indigenous community and at risk youth, in a unique and enjoyable setting.

“We live in the community, we work in the community - having these events and being able to interact with the kids is a fantastic opportunity for building relationships.

“The event allows the community to see that we’re not just there to enforce the law and do the traditional police roles the community expects - we are also there to offer support, to look for lost kids and to help out when there are problems.” said Sergeant Szabo.

The event received tremendous support from local businesses, including family-owned business Compleat Angler & Camping World Nowra who generously donated more than 90 per cent of the prizes for the kids. Prizes were given to those children who demonstrated kindness and a willingness to assist their peers.

Leading Senior Constable Scott Burger said that there are two things that the kids love about living in Jervis Bay - one is having fun and the other is fishing.

“Fishing with the kids is a great way for police to be able to engage with the kids in a fun and relaxing way,” said Leading Senior Constable Burger.

There were around 60 kids who came along to enjoy a BBQ lunch, try their hand at fishing and chat with the officers.  It was an enjoyable day for all – sand, sun and smiles all round.