Causeway Coast and Glens Policing and Community Safety Partnership members, local police and Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators have attended a Neighbourhood Watch conference in the Magherabuoy Hotel, Portrush.
Neighbourhood Watch is a partnership between local communities, the Police and PCSPs, with the aim of helping people protect themselves and their property and reduce the fear of crime.
The scheme creates effective communication between residents and the police, with local co-ordinators acting as the primary point of contact.
It can make a real difference in local communities and 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.
Opening the event, Deputy Mayor Councillor James McCorkell said: “Neighbourhood Watch is an important mechanism for local communities to protect themselves and to look after friends, family and neighbours. Across the UK, it has been proved effective in addressing crime, fear of crime and anti-social behaviour.”
Speaking at the conference Superintendent John Magill said: “As a police service we recognise the many benefits of the Neighbourhood Watch ethos and it is great to see such an uptake in the Causeway Coast and Glens area.
“The partnership that exists between police and communities is important, in fact I would go as far as to say vital, in ensuring that we keep our streets, our neighbourhoods, and our towns and villages safe for everyone. I would strongly encourage others to take up the Neighbourhood Watch mantle and of course we will provide whatever support we can as it is to all our benefit to work together to prevent and reduce crime.”
The Chairperson of Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP, Alderman William King, said: “Events such as this, along with the quarterly networking meetings that PCSP facilitates, provide vital opportunities for local co-ordinators to meet police and discuss issues of concern in their communities”.
In the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area, there are currently 56 schemes covering approximately 2,706 households.
If you are interested in setting up a scheme or if you would like further information on Neighbourhood Watch, please contact Causeway Coast and Glens Policing and Community Safety Partnership 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