Wednesday 23 August 2017 07:19:20 AM

Supporting Communities Remains Top of Down PCSP Agenda
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Over £40,000 of funding has been allocated as supporting local communities remains top of the Down PCSP agenda

Members of Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) agreed to provide over £40,000 to roll out a number of local projects to tackle anti-social behaviour and fear of crime across the district.  At a recent partnership meeting, programme plans were presented on a number of key interventions including an internet safety proposal which will target all post primary schools on topics such as cyber bullying, grooming and addictive gaming.

In addition, interagency action plans to address anti-social behaviour were also funded for local hotspot areas and summer sporting programmes to divert young people from offending behaviour will now be implemented on Friday and Saturday evenings across County Down.

Pictured are James Laverty, Frances McAtamney. NICVA; Cllr Patsy Toman; Sergeant Nigel Donnelly; PCSP Network Committee Chairman, John Huddleston; and PCSP member, John Gordon with local Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators.

Pictured are James Laverty, Frances McAtamney. NICVA; Cllr Patsy Toman; Sergeant Nigel Donnelly; PCSP Network Committee Chairman, John Huddleston, and PCSP member John Gordon with local Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators.

Speaking after the meeting, PCSP Chairman Councillor Willie Clarke said: “The Partnership is working on a wide range of safety initiatives which is clearly evident from the agenda of our last meeting.  We have tried to provide funding, advice and intervention on everything from graffiti removal, drugs and alcohol awareness, road safety and youth drop-in facilities.

“Equally important is the discussion that takes place between the elected members, community representatives and key statutory bodies on how we can join forces to have a greater impact. Also it is important that we continue to share information on what local services can be promoted so that members of the public can access information and practical support.”

Presentations on the night were provided by Sheila Simons, Sector Manager of Safeguarding in the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust who outlined the new Hub Service, set up to provide early intervention for families dealing with problems.  Andrew McQuillen from Select Management highlighted services including the Community Safety Warden Scheme and Mobile CCTV cover.

Neighbourhood Coordinators Discuss the Way Forward

Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators from the Rowallane area came together last Thursday evening at Tullyveery House, Killyleagh, to share ideas and brainstorm initiatives to re-energise schemes across the district.

With all the changes in the PSNI, co-ordinators agreed it is important now more than ever that they co-operate with each other to reduce the risk of many crimes from happening and remain to be the eyes and ears for the local communities’ safety. Members agreed the way forward would be to meet regularly with households in their schemes and share expertise and experience with each other.

Rowallane Neighbourhood Policing Team Sergeant, Nigel Donnelly informed co-ordinators that his team are dedicated to supporting Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in the area and are grateful for them giving up their time voluntarily to help people feel safer in their communities.

Policing and Community Safety Network Committee Chairman, John Huddleston said: “As coordinators you are an invaluable asset, working tirelessly in reducing the fear of crime. It is important we work together in making Down District one of the best Neighbourhood Watch areas in the country.”

At the meeting Frances McAtamney and James Laverty from Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) gave an  informative presentation on funding available in Northern Ireland for community and voluntary groups and the huge benefits that can be gained from being a member of NICVA.

If you are interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme or would like to find out more please contact Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership on 028 4461 0800.