Policing with the community

THE six neighbourhood police officers in Ballymoney continue to ‘serve the community well’ according to Chief Inspector John Magill.

Highlighting the three-monthly report at a recent District Policing Partnership meeting, the police chief prasie their work in dealing with ‘local problems to improve the quality of life for everyone living, working or socialising in Ballymone’y.

He explained: “These Officers are in daily contact with the local community, aiming to provide reassurance and build confidence in policing as well as addressing crime and concerns about anti social behaviour.

“Police surgeries have continued on a regular basis in a variety of locations including Community Centres and commercial premises and on 3 and 4 June at Ballymoney Agricultural Show. These sessions provided additional opportunity for the community to discuss local issues with their Neighbourhood police officers.

“Also in April our officers participated in an Interagency walkabout in Carnany estate which led to useful engagement with the community on local quality of life issues and demonstrated to the community that the statutory agencies can and will work together to address problems.

“Neighbourhood officers conducted an Environmental Visual Audit in the Castle area in partnership with Ballymoney Borough Council, NIHE and Roads Service. This served to highlight issues of young people causing annoyance, neighbour disputes and road traffic problems around both schools which needed to be addressed by an inter agency approach.

“These issues were followed up in a partnership approach with a resulting improvement in quality of life for the Castle community. In June officers conducted a joint enforcement visit with NIHE to a property in the Castle area following recent antisocial behaviour.

“The tenant was warned by both Police and NIHE that this behaviour would not be tolerated anymore and she could face eviction. This has resulted in a reduction in the number of such incidents reported to police. An Environmental Visual Audit was also carried out with the local NIHE officer which has highlighted other addresses subject of recurring reports of antisocial behaviour. These issues are currently under investigation in partnership with NIHE and the local Community Association. A further Environmental Visual Audit was conducted in Glebe estate in May.

“The CASE Programme (Citizenship and Safety Education) was concluded for the 2010/11 school year. Specially trained Neighbourhood Officers delivered lessons to pupils in every school in the Ballymoney area on topics including Drugs Awareness, Knife Crime, Internet Safety and Stranger Danger.

“This included a full day of sessions with Year 8 students in Ballymoney High School in June in conjunction with other Agencies. Being conscious that we also need to engage with and maintain the confidence of all age groups in our community, police also arranged an event for senior citizens from the Castle, Glebe and Carnany areas.

“Crime prevention advice and information on how to contact useful Statutory and Voluntary groups was followed by a visit to Parliament Buildings, Stormont and to Belfast City Hall. This proved very useful in building relationships and confidence with the group.”