The benefits of Neighbourhood Watch schemes have been discussed at a recent joint conference.
The event in Portrush was attended by members of Causeway Coast and Glens Policing and Community Safety Partnership, PSNI and local scheme co-ordinators.
Neighbourhood Watch, a partnership between local communities, police and PCSPs, aims to help people protect themselves and their property and reduce the fear of crime.
In the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area, there are currently 53 schemes covering approximately 2600 households. They create effective communication between residents and police, with local co-ordinators acting as a primary point of contact.
Opening the event, held in the Magherabuoy Hotel, PCSP Vice Chairperson Ashleen Schenning said: “Neighbourhood Watch is an important initiative that delivers greater vigilance in communities and helps residents to protect themselves, their homes and their properties. It is of huge benefit to our elderly neighbours and may reduce their fear of crime while increasing community spirit. It is open to everyone and is simple to join and I would encourage you to spread the word and hopefully inspire further schemes throughout the Borough.”
“Events such as this, along with new Neighbourhood Watch clinics planned for 2018 provide vital opportunities for local co-ordinators to meet police and discuss issues of concern in their communities.”
Speaking at the conference Superintendent Jeremy Lindsay said: “It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm and support for the Neighbourhood Watch service across the Causeway Coast and Glens. The partnership approach between communities, police and our partners is at the heart of keeping people safe and initiatives like this provide meaningful and practical support to local people.
“I would encourage you to speak positively about your involvement to others and help spread the word on the impact Neighbourhood Watch can have in terms of preventing crime and sharing information.”
In an evaluation commissioned by Northern Ireland Policing Board, PSNI and Department of Justice, 86% of people who live in a Neighbourhood Watch area expressed that they feel very or quite safe and almost all areas reported that crime and anti-social behaviour had decreased since the establishment of the scheme.
If you are interested in setting up a scheme or if you would like further information, please contact Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP at any of the following locations:
Ballycastle: Sheskburn House, 7 Mary Street, BT54 6QH Tel: 028 207 62225
Coleraine: Cloonavin, 66 Portstewart Road, BT52 1EY Tel: 028 703 47031
Ballymoney: Riada House, 14 Charles Street, Ballymoney, BT53 6DZ Tel: 028 276 60254
Limavady: Council Offices, 7 Connell Street, Limavady, BT49 0HA Tel: 028 777 60304