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Neighbourhood Watch ‘text alert pilot’ is underway

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Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators Mary Watson, Mary Magill, Robert Logan and Bridget Milliken along with Inspector Martin Ruddy Carrickfergus Neighbourhood Policing Team and Sgt Helen Hargy Ballymena PSNI Community Planning Sergeant

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) is to pilot a simple mobile phone text message scheme for communicating urgent community safety issues.

Working with the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) the PCSP has developed text alerts to enable everyone to communicate better within the community.

“In particular, members of Neighbourhood Watch schemes and representatives of the rural communities are set to benefit,” said Councillor Andrew Wilson, PCSP Chair.

Speaking at a meeting of Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinators in Larne Town Hall, Cllr Wilson said: “After the pilot project, it is hoped that we can then extend this scheme to community groups; community safety wardens; retailers, publicans and possibly Elected Members,” Cllr Wilson added.

“Many of the groups we speak to struggle with email and social media so they don’t sometimes pick up the information for a few days.

 “For the PSNI the current information sharing scheme is not immediate enough.

 “Therefore, the new initiative will allow the PSNI to immediately text members of the community as well as statutory partners to advise them of a particular community safety issue in their area,” he said.

The PSNI’s C/Inspector Heather Scott added: “We believe that such a simplified method of communication will be much more accessible.

 “As well as coming from the PSNI, these alerts can also be sent from the PCSP itself to advise on the many and varied issues. These will also be providing support and bring attention to a particular problem in the area,” he said.

This scheme will roll out across the Borough overall later in 2017

“Our overall aim is to make Mid and East Antrim Borough a safer place for all our citizens and this pilot scheme, just launched is yet another element in achieving that,” concluded Cllr Wilson.

To find out more about the scheme or to register, contact: Mid and East Antrim Community Safety Partnership, phone 028 2826 2461; E: [email protected]

Or Police Service of Northern Ireland on 101; E: [email protected]

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