ONE of Monash's oldest Neighbourhood Watch groups is on the brink of collapse and remaining members are struggling to even deliver its newsletter.
After a decade of decline, Monash 31 group, which is responsible for Clayton, has shrunk to minimal critical mass with only 13 active members on its books.
Area co-ordinator Lynne Bowler said the decline of the crime prevention group could be attributed to an ageing group of members, committed locals moving into other areas and a rise in the number of renters who were less likely to stay in Clayton permanently and engage with the group.
Ms Bowler also conceded that interest in the organisation may have diminished to the extent that it was unsustainable in Clayton.
"We're just finding ourselves short. We're about seven people down for delivering our newsletters," she said.
"It's getting very hard and we're not sure of the community's commitment to it. We're discussing whether we'll continue or disband."
The letters are delivered to 20 zones, each of which covers between 50 and 70 houses. The lack of volunteers has meant that in recent months several members have had to distribute newsletters to multiple zones. Monash council prints the newsletters as a courtesy to the group, which also has two sponsors.
"But we're feeling if we can't deliver the newsletters, then we can't ask the sponsors for assistance," Ms Bowler said.
"We have not been able to do much because we've now shrunk so small. If we can't involve the community more in it, then no, we're not going to be of value. It has to be a community thing."
Monash 31 has been watching the Clayton area since 1986.
Andrew Vecris, 71, has been a member since the group's conception. "People don't have the urge that they used to have before," he said.
"Lately, nobody cares any more. We ask for volunteers and we don't get nobody."
Mr Vecris, a sewing machine mechanic, delivers the newsletters on his own time. He said that people who looked out for their neighbours were vital for the community.
"Having a good neighbour is like having a good wife or having a good husband. If you don't look after your neighbour, you'll have a bit of a problem."