Over the next few weeks, every home in Ballymoney, Coleraine and Moyle will receive a personal letter from the Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Matt Baggott as part of a multi-level campaign to continue building confidence in policing.
The letter will be accompanied by a District Newsletter highlighting local policing initiatives and successes in each of the eight districts across Northern Ireland. These will be delivered through letterboxes and will provide a fourth update as promised in the Policing Commitments which were launched in 2011.
The District Newsletters are part of an over-arching Confidence Campaign which aims to focus on a variety of local issues, including antisocial behaviour, drugs, violent crime, burglary, rural crime, domestic abuse and road safety.
The efforts police are making to address these concerns will be highlighted through messages on a number of platforms including billboards, bus shelters, libraries, community centres, advertisements in media outlets and online. The campaign will run from April 21 to May 18.
In his letter to householders, the Chief Constable provides an update on the work the Police Service of Northern Ireland has been doing to make Northern Ireland a safer and more secure place and highlights the fact that the level of confidence in local policing is at its highest level.
He said: “Northern Ireland remains one of the least likely places in the UK to become a victim of crime. Crimes such as burglary and robbery continue to fall and, indeed, are at their lowest levels in 15 years. Last year 9,117 burglaries were reported to police, that was 404 fewer than in 2012.
“Likewise, there have been significant reductions in violence with injury offences, vehicle related thefts and criminal damage. Nonetheless protecting the most vulnerable continues to be an imperative for us and the opening of the Rowan Centre, a state of the art multi agency facility to serve victims of sexual assault, is testament to that desire. It is my hope that it will encourage victims not only to seek the professional support available but will also assist us to deal with such traumatic offences even more effectively.”
The Chief Constable added that overall confidence in policing remains around 80%, according to the latest Department of Justice quarterly survey.
“We are deeply committed to making the Police Service of Northern Ireland even more personal, accessible and relevant. As part of that we are currently in the process of replacing the non emergency number with an easier one for people to remember, 101,” he explained.
“Good policing is essential to everyone’s future because safety and confidence helps employment, tourism and peace building. Serious crime will remain a priority as well as dealing with day to day concerns or emergencies.”
Speaking of the campaign, Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, newly appointed District Commander for H District which covers Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Larne and Moyle, said: “Despite a number of recent challenges for policing in this area, this District Newsletter has provided us with a chance to tell you about some of the good work undertaken by the officers within your community, over the past year.
“A lot of the work we do is only achievable because of your support, trust and co-operation and I hope that in going forward, you continue to provide us with the opportunity to make a positive impact in tackling crime in this area and that we also continue to work together to make our communities safer”, he said.
District Newsletters will be delivered to each household over the coming weeks and will provide a snapshot of the service being delivered by police on a daily basis in local areas.